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Slam Poetry Contest – Speak Up Vanier! Campus 

Slam Poetry Contest – Speak Up Vanier!

Vanier College will be hosting its very own slam poetry competition on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7pm, in the Auditorium. First prize: iPad Mini

Slam, or spoken-word poetry, is a growing practice among young adults in North America, and is replacing the classic image of a poet with a more modern, hip version. Spoken-word competitions consist of a series of writers, or modern poets, who read their work aloud, turn by turn. This changes the face of poetry, as it is no longer read; spoken-word is not directed towards readers, but to an audience. This allows the author of a poem to employ different techniques to give them a greater control over rhythm, speed, tone of voice, etc., and entices many to abandon the traditional application of rhymes in favour of a more prose-like poetry.

Spoken-word performances can be hard to find in the Montreal area. A Vanier student, one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20, Nayem Alam addressed this issue when creating Speak Up Montreal, a public-speaking contest that encourages participants to think outside the box, and to utilize the power of gesture and animation when giving a talk or presentation. He aimed to create an environment in which “people can embrace themselves for who they are and not who they should be” which is done through self-expression in a contest that leaves much leeway for creativity and imagination.

Organized by Nayem, in collaboration with the VCSA, Speak Up Vanier invites students to perform their original pieces on-stage alone, or in groups (maximum of five members per group), with or without musical accompaniment. The performances must be between two and five minutes long, and are required to adhere to college policies (no promotion of discrimination, violence, etc.). The judges, including Anne Beamish from the English Montreal School Board, and Jason Selman, slam poetry artist, will evaluate each piece based on the enthusiasm portrayed in the performance, as well as on its content and style. The winner will receive an iPad Mini. Second and third prizes are yet to be determined.

Students who wish to register for the competition must email their name, student I.D. number, and a two-sentence description of the topic of their piece to . The deadline to sign up is Friday March 11th, at midnight.

What are you waiting for? Speak Up Vanier!


Written By: Katherine Willcocks

Originally Published: February 2016

About The Author
Katherine Willcocks Kat has been dabbling in the art of the written word since childhood, dipping her toes in the world of photography every now and then. As a Vanier alumnus who studied in Communications, she explores Spoken Word Poetry, and, of course, journalism.

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