Slam Poets return to Centre for Night Kite Revival
September 23, 2010 By Gretchen Hines-Ward
in Weisiger Theatre.
Centre College’s Art House is a group of students with a mission, says student Becca Finney ’11, “to form a community that will work together and simply make things happen.”
Last spring, the Art House pooled its resources and brought renowned slam poet Buddy Wakefield to perform at Centre.
“The event was a surprise success—students still talk about the performance with great enthusiasm,” Finney says. “This year, the Art House decided to step up its game and bring three renowned slam poets to Centre.”
Billed as “the planet’s ultimate spoken word theatre experience,” The Night Kite Revival is three top slam poets (Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojgani and Derrick Brown) banding together to create “a disarming verbal circus, successfully reviving, redeeming and releasing its audiences from the heaviness of lives caught in holding patterns.”
The Night Kite Revival takes place Friday, October 1, at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.
The term “slam poetry” refers to a style of spoken word performance that originated at competitive poetry readings (called poetry slams) where poets perform original work and are judged (and eliminated) by the audience. The work is usually highly politicized, focusing on current social issues. Poets are judged on the content of their poems as well as their performance of the spoken word. As a result, slam poetry events are part poetry reading, part theatre.
As an art form, slam poetry is well suited to Internet video, and slam poetry performances are have been known to “go viral.” A web search for slam poetry reveals a multitude of videos on every conceivable political or social issue. However, a live events (competitive or otherwise) focus on audience participation. The idea that no poet is beyond critique, and all are dependent on the goodwill of the audience, is central to what Bob Holman, former slammaster, calls “the democratization of verse.”