South Students Compete in Poetry Slam

Article and photo by: Kaytlin Thornton | Contributor

Last Tuesday, Feb. 8, Jaguar Productions hosted a Poetry Slam in the Student Center Terrace, where six poets competed for a shot at first place. 

In a poetry slam, each poet goes on stage and has three minutes to recite a poem. A panel of five judges, who are members of the audience, gives the poems a score out of 10, and at the end of three rounds, the poet with the highest score wins. 

The Poetry Slam was hosted by South Alabama Alumni Catharsis tha Poet. She kicked off the event by “spitting” a bit of her own poetry to get the energy going for the night. The lights were dim and everyone was excited. Then, one by one, the poets came up to speak their pieces.

Each one offered three of their own unique poems. They varied in length, style and rhythm, but each poet left the stage to the sound of the audience’s approving applause. The judges didn’t give any of the speakers below six points.

By the time the third round came to a close, there were two different ties. One for third place and one for first. Each of the four poets who were tied in points went back on stage to perform one last poem. 

Despite the poetry slam being a competition, the event lacked tension. Each poet was excited to be at the event sharing their words. 

“They were leaving a piece of themselves on that stage,” Catharsis tha Poet said. “I thought it was phenomenal. It takes a lot of courage to get up on stage and bare your soul, and they did it phenomenally.”

After a quick tally of all the points, Catharsis came up to the stage to announce the slam’s winner: Jada McGrady. 

“Events like this mean a lot to me because the first one that I went to is what really inspired me to start writing in the first place,” McGrady said. “They’re massively important.” 

“Poetry is therapy for a lot of people,” said Catharsis tha Poet. “The fact that spoken word and poetry was recognized at an event like this not only gives these students an opportunity to compete, but to let everybody hear their voices. To put it out in front of everybody.”

Jaguar Productions considers the night to have been a massive success and hopes to do more events like it in the future.