by Julia Milden, Grade 11
An outlet to express views on life, relationships and experiences outside of academia or controlled forms of structured poetry, spoken word poetry is poetry for the people, a powerful and moving commentary on a variety of issues.
Last Thursday, the SMUS Senior School students and faculty had the amazing experience of having Dave Morris, Canadian National Slam Poetry champion give a presentation and workshop. Right from the start, he was engaging and had the audience connected and entertained with his sense of humor and ease on stage. He preformed poems ranging from heart-warming and humorous to contemplative and poignant, and had the audience snapping their fingers (the equivalent clapping of spoken word performances) in awe, appreciation and laughter. Lines such as “treat people they way they should be, could be, and help them become” showed how deep spoken word poetry could be, while a love poem about his shirt had everyone in the room laughing with its imagery and puns.
After an amazing performance, some select English classes were given an equally amazing workshop about how to both write and perform spoken word poetry. As a group, he led students in creating the similes and instant imagery that are so central to spoken word. His enthusiasm was contagious and sense of humor fantastic as everyone became involved and engaged. He explained how tone, volume and speed are employed to make even basic sentences sound poetic and impressive, and how to use our own experiences to write and perform.
His presentation was a definite inspiration, and SMUS has just started its own Slam Poetry Club! It was so exciting to see a completely new kind of performance, which is sure to become a huge success at the school.