Poetry Slam: The Passionate Voice Within Us All



Have you ever listened to Poetry, I mean really listened to poetry? On Feb. 13, 2018 a spectacular performance took place, Poetry Slam. Listeners were witnessing the beauty of words, it was intense. Manhattanville is known for its beauty, enriching education, excitement and the birthplace of great artists like Steven Willis.

Willis introduced the strong African-American’s voice in honor of Black History Month. He opened the doors for creativity; great poets walked through that door and gave some of the best poetry I have ever heard.

It was filled with art, style, deep emotions, strong body language, lip-biting passion, and hearts that were beating so fast by such extraordinary talent. When Willis spoke for this first time it was eye-opening, he made everyone feel the emotion and strength of his work, and he grasped everyone’s attention by not only being loud but being deep and profound. There was laughter, history, respect, and a strong stand on many issues that really gets a person thinking.

Everyone showed strength, beauty, dedication, and real artistic passion towards their poetry. There was flow, appreciations, truth, amusement, and ‘OMG’ moments.

PC Christopher Sanders

It was a true definition of strength and the creative art of poetry. I didn’t want the event to end, no one was bored or even checked their phones during this time. Willis and everyone who performed and listened really observed the true quality of poetry and gave an entirely different view of poetry. During this time poetry became a performance and literary art in which voices were heard, the truth was known, and a great deal of respect, knowledge, and heart was given to the poets and their topics.

As a journalist and a poet, I was just there to observe, I loved everything. No one showed fear, anger, sadness or even messed-up. Everything wasn’t like the movies, it was so much more. What does poetry make you think of? How does poetry make you feel?

When one sat down in a chair and put your phone away then nothing else mattered or even compared to the captivating voices of poetry that were spoken. In that room, you could really see and feel the beauty, love, dedication, and heart. Willis gave light to a new way of poetry. The many years he has been doing poetry slams, since he was 15 years old, is an inspiration to me and other young artists in the world. It doesn’t matter what career or lifestyle one lives, poetry flows within dancing, singing, acting, teaching, and more. Being there in that room made me want to cry, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. When I think of poetry I think of what poetry has to teach me. Poetry is an art and art take on many forms of life. Poetry is what you make of it and not what others perceive of it. Putting one’s knowledge into poetry isn’t enough because anyone can do that but putting one’s heart into poetry is light.

A light that gives a deeper meaning and appreciation of life. You can listen to poetry, you can say poetry, but can you put heart into poetry? What comes from the light of poetry is who you are and not what you are saying.