Tuesday marked the second WhySlam poetry battle, the first with the USU student community present because of the start of the fall semester. Cache valley citizens gathered at WhySound studio in Logan to watch poets read.
Poets read about topics like forbidden romance, battling depression and humankind's impact on the environment. Some performers read off their notes and some spoke from memory. Kate Lange, the co-chairwoman of WhySlam, said there are not many strict guidelines when performing, but that it is more about how each person would like to perform; if a person feels more comfortable reading their poem off notes that is fine, if a person feels more comfortable performing with their shoes off that is fine too.
“Slam poetry is important because it allows people to voice the heavy emotions they may be feeling in an environment where it is accepted,” Lange said.
WhySlam is an outlet for students and other members of the Cache Valley community to vocalize their emotions. A few audience members are picked to be judges who grade the performances while the rest of the audience interacts with performers by snapping when they connect with what is being said.
The WhySlam community is growing rapidly with over 100 people signed up to attend over Facebook. Lange emphasized the importance of Tuesday night saying that it was the largest amount of RSVPs they have had.
“I always thought it would be stupid because I could never put my emotions into words,” said Amelia Enrico, one of the poets who performed. “After experiencing it firsthand I saw how it transformed people. Poetry cuts out the bull and just leaves the raw passion of your words.”
People of all ages are encouraged to perform, judge or participate in the audience. Jeannie Woller, the other co-chairwoman or WhySlam, said that the point of this event is to teach people to accept themselves and their emotions.
“We want people to leave here knowing that self-expression is always valid, even when people say it’s not,” Woller said.
More information can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whyslamlogan, on Twitter at @WhySlam or on Instagram at @WhySlam_.