Many students at UM need a vehicle for their artistic expression, and Spoken Word provides an open atmosphere for budding artists to speak their minds. The event is held every other Wednesday at the Rathskellar, and is relaunching for the fall semester on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
“This month’s Spoken Word is entirely a student-based, open-mic showcase,” said sophomore Sam Shunk, coordinator of Spoken Word. Past performers have included Oveus Maximus and Sekou the Misfit, but this year Spoken Word is making an effort to bring real students’ words to the forefront.
Spoken Word in itself is a relatively new form of literary art, emerging in the late 1980s with “poetry slams” where the artists would verbally battle in cabaret-style duels. In the US, Spoken Word was simply the mellow sibling of hip-hop battles, with a focus on political protest as well as personal insight.
Future acts include a reprisal of Sekou the Misfit’s past performances, as well as new international vocal act, the Voca People, who combine vocal sounds, acapella singing, and beat boxing in their performances. This week’s gathering is dedicated purely to the words of UM students, though, and Shunk is hoping that new performers emerge.
“There is no feature this week, as we would like to learn more about the kind of poetry that this campus specifically has to offer,” Shunk said.
Students interested in being a part of Spoken Word should contact Sam Shunk at firstname.lastname@example.org.