Poets bring life to words
Libby Lussenhop’s new hobby allows her to combine two of the activities she is most passionate about — performing and writing.
As a slam poet, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and professional writing sophomore is able to take pieces of writing she has created and share them by reciting and acting them out.
“I love performance poetry because it’s a combination of language and performing,” she said. “It’s an art, and a fine art at that. I really enjoy bringing words to life.”
This weekend, Lussenhop will be able to share her work with other students while also competing against seven other poets in the third annual Old School Voices-Only Duel. The free event, which is being hosted by the University Activities Board, or UAB, and the MSU Slam Poetry Team, will take place at 9 p.m. Saturday in the main lounge of the Union.
“It’s something to do if you have nothing on a Saturday night,” said UAB Multicultural Director Michelle Cooper in an email. “Come sit, listen and enjoy the talent that comes from fellow Spartans.”
Cooper said random audience members will be selected to be judges, and the top three performers have the chance to win a Kindle Fire, iPod Touch or a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones.
Evan Stewart, the public relations coordinator for the team, said the Old School Voices-Only Duel event is one of the organization’s favorites to host because of its lively nature.
He said slam poetry is not like the poetry most people are familiar with, because the art form is performance-based and can be intense.
“Slam poetry is raw, and it’s high energy,” Stewart said. “You get people who write beautiful poetry but then put that extra emotion into it.
The social relations and policy and political theory senior also will be performing at the show and said he is looking forward to sharing his new material with an audience as well as socializing with other slam poets.
“It’s nice to be able to be in a place where you can watch a bunch of really talented poets get together and share great work,” he said.
Stewart said his experience with slam poetry has been beneficial in more ways than one and has helped him improve other important skills.
“It makes you a better writer, (and) it makes you a better performer,” he said. “It really teaches you how to convey new, interesting ideas in a creative way that really captivates an audience.”
Lussenhop, who typically tries to portray positive emotions with her poetry, also said she has prepared new work for the competition and is excited to perform it for event attendees.
“I try to stay away from the (style of the) typical, indignant poet,” she said. “I think it’s a little tried and overdone. Generally, I try to do more empowering stuff.”
Lussenhop said it’s not the outcome of the competition she is most looking forward to about Saturday’s event but rather the chance to listen to the poems of the other artists.
“I don’t really care (about winning),” she said. “I just want to go and have a good time and hear what everyone else has to offer.”