Student poets share passion for words
City College’s Cultural Awareness Center was jam-packed Sept. 10 with 25 to 30 poets and poetry lovers for the first-ever Poetry Slam contest, which kicked off the Week of Welcome.
The winners were Ronnee LaRae, English literature major, in first place for his poem, “Bob Marley, Chicken Wings and Toilet Seats”; Sammy Khang, biology major, in second place for his poem, “For My People”’ and Marlette Reaves, English major, in third place for her poem, “One Nation”.
Each winner received a gift certificate for the College Store.
“Just being up there, it was good, [winning] didn’t matter,” said Khang. “Winning was an added bonus. It was really about just getting up there, expressing yourself, and talking to others.”
Another poet Brandon Jackson performed a late entry poem while the winners were being decided by staff members. Jackson’s poem, “Expression, My Wife and Kids”, entertained the crowd and got lots of laughs.
The event, which went from 12:15 to 1 p.m. was hosted by Orientation and Information Student Personnel Assistant Parrish Geary, Outreach Specialist Tanya Anderson and Counselor Maristella Bacod.
Geary reminded students about the rest of the Week of Welcome events in between poems and even gave a poem of his own. Students quickly realized his poem wasn’t original though and he admitted to borrowing it from hip-hop artist Common.
“Being that this was the first time for this event, to get this turnout was great,” said Anderson.
Bacod also expressed her excitement for the event’s outcome.
“For the students who participated, having the courage to come up was wonderful,” said Bacod.
First-place winner LaRae gave a longer version of his poem following the announcements of the winners but said the experience was humbling.
“It’s always a learning experience,” said LaRae. “I appreciated [the opportunity]. I was excited to see the talent of the school.”
The hosts of the event said they hope to put on more events along the same lines of the Poetry Slam in the future and asked students for suggestions.
A successful event was summed up well by third-prize winner Reaves when she called the event great.
“It’s the first thing I’ve done at CityCollege,” said Reaves. “[I wasn’t really nervous], I’ve done open mic events outside of SacCity.”
Some of the other poets who participated included City College students Jennifer Trinkle, Aaron Glen and Bobo.
For more information on the Orientation and Information services, contact Parrish Geary at (916) 558-2068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.