Thursday, March 30th the night of the Vanier Speak Up competition. The night was filled with many memorable, heart warming, gut wrenching and innovative poems. Performed, rapped and delivered passionately by our contestants.
A poetry slam or spoken word competition involves participants performing their original poems and then being judged on them to find three winners. They can be in teams of up to five people or alone. Music instruments are also accepted to enhance the performance. The performance is judged by the enthusiasm and delivery of its participants taking into account its message and style.
The night’s line up included the following students in order of appearance: Amanda Nyarko, Yoan Georgiec, Rebecca Piliguian, Zelia Carnevake, Kc Tsiolis, Teresa Mayoral, Katherine Willcocks, Pablo Jesus Ruiz de la Ordern, Morganne Carroll, Benjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner, Nathaniel Posesorsky, Carmen Gabrian, Ruchama Botat, Rebecca Mersiadis-Lavallee, Catherine Boateng, Amylon Oliver-Hall.
Every student had something to say and express. The themes ranged from love, heartbreak, social awareness, depression African American pride, body shaming, the love for one’s dog and mental illness. The poems were delivered beautifully and passionately by Vanier’s poets.
By the end of the night, the judges had the hard choice of choosing three winners that would move on to the inter-collegiate poetry slam that will happen at Vanier in the next few weeks. The three top contestants from Marianopolis, Dawson, John Abbott, Champlain and Vanier will be competing for the ultimate title.
The winners of Vanier’s Speak Up competition were Amylon Oliver-Hall in third place, Ruchama Botat in second place and the night’s first place winner was Catherine Boateng. The following are quotes from our winners as to why they wrote these particular poems:
“The reason why I wrote my poem is because a lot of black people nowadays feel as though they have to act a certain way. I don’t agree with that at all I feel like as a black kid, person you should be true to yourself, be proud of yourself, be proud of what you are and just be what you want to be. There shouldn’t be any limitations or chains holding you back in lack of a better term. I feel like while writing this poem I was able to spread my views and how I feel as though we are and how we could change.” -Amylon Oliver-Hall
“This poem is for all the girls that want to wear what they want without feeling like they are responsible for sexual harassment and sexual attacks on them”. -Rouchama Botat
“I just see a lot of people, my people, dying. It is the backlash from that, that results in a lot of my people hurting and we don’t know where to start forgiving. So I wrote my poem to find the problem and find the solution.” -Catherine Boateng
Our winners had incredibly inspiring truthful messages that were written beautifully and their delivery, passion and enthusiam was what got them their titles of winners of the night. We will see our winners back on the Vanier stage for the Intercollegiate competition: April 27th, 2017!
Written By: Rebecca Mersiadis-Lavallee