Tales of rebellion, heartache, passion and insecurity, captured the ears and minds of listeners at The Art of Spoken Word, an event hosted by WHIP Student Radio Thursday.
More than 70 people gathered at Barnes and Noble on Cecil B. Moore and North Broad Streets, braving the blistering cold to listen to spoken word artists showcase their talent.
“Take a trip through my passion,” rhymed Kiaira Blackwell. “Take a hit of my herb that I grow in the purest section of my thoughts. Get high off me.”
“[WHIP] felt it was something positive for everybody, something the campus lacked,” WHIP General Manager Andy Katowitz said.
While there are usually hip-hop and other art events on campus, it is rare to see an organization sponsoring a poetry event, he said.
“We felt as a radio station, it was something we could put together,” Katowitz said.
A number of featured poets and audience members expressed their feelings of frustration and hope during the makeshift poetry café.
Barnes and Noble allowed the student-run radio station to hold the event free. Students were encouraged to patronize the store’s Starbucks during the performances.
“We speak in this world like we care, like we all want change to come,” recited Kevin Gerard, “but we don’t.”
Open mic participants also did a capella renditions of their favorite love songs.
Katowitz was proud of the turn out and the response from audience members. He said WHIP plans on holding more poetry events at least once a semester if not more often.
“Spoken word truly is an art form and it’s nice to know that we have a following for that,” he said.
Renita Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.