Poets and Spectators howled at Poetry Slam 33


Laura Anderson

Last Thursday’s Poetry Slam winners were Sean Garner, 3rd place, Anneka Ramirez, 2nd place, Kelly Weber, 1st place, and Sharon Carr, 4th place.

Melissa Norris, Staff Writer

With a full moon overhead, WSC’s poetic, artistic and musical talents were on display for this semester’s poetry slam.

Twenty-three readers gathered at the Max Bar and Grill Thursday, March 5, to share their work and compete for 1st-4th places, awesome cash and prizes.

The euphoria of competing was matched only by the large crowd of supportive spectators experiencing—as first-time judge, Stephanie Hempel, would say—a truly religious experience hearing them perform.

“I think judging the poetry slam was one of the best things I’ve ever been able to do. Sitting on the opposite side of the stage was even more exciting than being on it,” Hempel said. “It really helps you appreciate the art of performance, as well as gives insight into your own work.”

The performing poets had the support of everyone in the room, as well as a few WSC artists. Joe Dale and Sharon Carr continued the tradition of featuring artwork at the slams by offering a few pieces to surround the stage. Local musicians Vito Cole and WSC’s very own Director of Teaching and Learning Technology Eddie Elfers performed their music before the slam.

For every slam there must be a champion, and for this slam, it was three-time winner Kelly Weber. She walked away $164 richer and with a perfect score of three 10s from the third round.

“It’s the first time after several years of writing where I really felt I was saying what I wanted to say. And it’s also different because I think it’ll be my last [slam] at WSC—I look forward to teaching poetry workshop this fall and seeing other students slam for the first time,” Weber said. “Getting the three 10s in the third round was incredible. I am beyond grateful not just for that moment, but for everyone’s support at all the slams and for this nurturing creative environment all of us are in.”

Anneka Ramirez won second place and $85, Sean Garner won third place and $49 and the aforementioned artist, Carr, received fourth place and $46.

All the finalists received a variety of prizes, including WSC swag, coupons to area businesses and food to fuel their spring break.

The WSC press is gearing up for the Lucky 13 Fiction Slam on April 30 at the Max.

The slam will be held at 7 p.m. for spectators, while performers should be there at 5 p.m. with two short stories and $5 to compete. All slams are free and open to the public.