This is Jamael I. Clark, Executive Director of Andwepresent.com as well as the President & Founder of the newly established Spoken Word organization at Northern Illinois University. We are only two days into the second semester and I am proud to announce that the NIU Spoken Word movement has already immersed itself into one of the greatest poetry competitions, ‘Louder Than A Bomb’.
‘Louder Than A Bomb’ is a poetry slam competition that is entering its twelfth year of activity, which was established by Kevin Coval and Anna West along with the association of Young Chicago Authors ( http://youngchicagoauthors.org/blog/) in 2001. These poetry slams consist of a few hundred poets and over 50 schools (middle school, high school, and colleges) from the Chicagoland area with the slam finals taking place at Columbia College in Chicago. ‘Louder Than A Bomb’ is currently the largest youth poetry slam movement in the world!
NIU’s Spoken Word Faculty Advsior, Russ Devereaux (who is also an academic advisor at NIU) and I recently volunteered our services at the West Chicago Suburban Regionals for the Louder Than A Bomb competition over the past weekend at West Chicago High School. We were privileged to network with a lot of the well-known Young Chicago Author’s teaching artists and performers, as well as partaking in the festivities of being avid audience members cheering on the talented poets. After the event was over, Russ informed me that colleges were able to compete in ‘Louder Than A Bomb’, which I thought was a competition confined to only middle schools and high schools prior to attending this event.
So, with that being said, the NIU Spoken Word organization is now searching to build a slam team of four to eight poets and there will be meetings held every week from here on out until a full team has been established. Russ and I will address the qualifications pertaining to the procedures of becoming an official NIU Spoken Word Slam Team Member. Please spread the word and encourage NIU poets to engage in this wonderful opportunity of participating in ‘Louder Than A Bomb’ and show your school spirit by supporting us in this extravagant event, which takes place in the spring (Feb. 16th-March 9th).
NIU was just in the Orange Bowl and now, ‘Louder Than A Bomb’ is another milestone to add as a great way to start the new year and semester. Although, we are here to compete and winning would be a major accolade for the university and the genesis of a renaissance movement. Just remember…The points are not the point, the point is…WE MADE IT!!! GO HUSKIES!!!!
NIU Spoken Word Contact Info