Cats Den to host slam Tuesday, winners move on to Feb.competition

by Colin Walsh

It’s a competition of the spoken word, and there really aren’t many rules to it.

The Association for College Unions International will host its poetry slam competition Tuesday at the Cats Den. Budding student-poets will have a chance to recite three original works in front of a five-person judging panel. The top three poets receive the opportunity to compete in the 2011 ACUI regional competition at East Carolina University in February.

If a student wins regionals, he or she will move on to nationals at the University of Michigan in April.

Unlike open mic nights, poetry slams are geared toward the audience, and audience members interact with the poet vocally, acting as judges. At Tuesday’s event, a panel of judges will give a numeric score to each performance.

Corey Kirby, poetry slam coordinator and life-long poet, said she is excited about the opportunity the event offers students who are interested in something different.

“I like the idea that we’re involved in something that’s out of the norm,” Kirby said. “There are a lot of poets that come out who weren’t interested in many of the other traditional things that (the campus) has to offer. It’s a good thing.”

The Cats Den is a member of the ACUI, which aims to promote community development through education and advocacy, according to its website.

“We’ve hosted the poetry slam now for a few years and taken different students to regionals,” Cats Den Marketing Coordinator Hannah Sloan said. “(Poetry slam) has been really successful on this campus …  we’ve had a lot of turnout for it, and we’ve taken a lot of really good poets to regionals [It] provides a way for students who are interested in poetry a good way to showcase their talents.”