By Jane Bowden
Brokenhearted ex-lovers, intergalactic figures and controversial hotdogs: these were just a few of the topics covered during INK’s semi-annual Slam Down the Walls poetry competition on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Held in the Bliss Hall Lounge, the contest featured 15 minutes of self-written poetry from four contestants, who were then judged by three students chosen from the audience. This semester, Slam Down the Walls included a range of poets from various years and majors eager to share their talents.
“A lot of people find (writing outside of the classroom) especially nice if they are not an English major or a creative writing minor,” said Emily Miller, co-president of INK and a senior English major. “INK gives them an opportunity to enjoy writing and experience a college literary community.”
To kick off the two-hour event, Slam Down The Walls’ spring 2018 winner, Jessica Shek, a sophomore English major, opened with her cosmos-inspired poems “Postcard from Andromeda” and “My Star.”
Nina Navazio, a sophomore English and secondary education dual major, was voted as this semester’s winner of Slam Down the Walls. Her series of poems included lighthearted and witty subjects, such as rhyming Buzzfeed articles and the impending question—if a hotdog is not a sandwich, then what is it?
Senior communication studies major Alyssa Jackson, the first competitor of the night, presented a personal narrative on love’s lessons with her series of poems, “Ignite,” “Windchasers,” “Pillowtalk,” “Gatekeeper,” “Seasonal” and “Jump.”
Freshman communication studies major Ana Camila soon followed with her poems about female empowerment, the men in her life and relationships which included “Desolation,” “Alone” and more.
The third poet of the night, sophomore English major Amanda Riccitelli, performed an array of poems, like “Origami Heart,” “Arsenic Summers,” and “A Gringo’s Lament,” a poem written in both English and in Spanish about her love of Hispanic culture.
“I have this deep and passionate love for the Spanish language and am endlessly fascinated by Hispanic culture,” Riccitelli said. “However, as a white American, I feel like this is almost a forbidden love. I am endlessly passionate and in love with the language, but I can never truly claim it, nor do I have any right to.”
Navazio explained how the slam poetry competition gives students of all majors a chance to have fun with language and be creative with their original poems.
“I have been writing poetry for years,” Navazio said. “It’s fun. It is cathartic in a way, similar to pulling out a thorn from your hand. It is like pulling out a splinter out of your hand, but the splinter is a pun and your hand is your brain.”