Prairie View A&M University Productive Poets garnered eighth in the nation at the recent Association of College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational held in Albuquerque, New Mexico April 2-5, 2008.
Prairie View Productive Poets was created by Emanuelee Bean, senior Theatre. The Slam Team also includes Ahmad Hygh, Theatre; BreAnna Cooper, senior Theatre; Jeremyah Payne, Computer Science; Willie Sowell, Business Management; Thasia Madison, Computer Science.
A poetry slam consists of the poet and his or her poem. “There is such theatricality to the poems, but it is always about the words,” states Darryl H. Thompson, advisor, “I think of it as the 1950’s Beat-nik generation, but with a LOT more attitude.” Forget the low-keyed poets of the 1950s in small coffee houses. Today’s poets touch on every emotion available and have the anger, sadness, and elation to support the words.
The poet must present his/her own personal work, the poem can be on any subject and in any style, but no props or costumes can be used during the presentation. The judges are audience members who have no connection to the presenting teams.
The Prairie View Productive Poets were pitted against some powerful colleges and universities. “We found ourselves up against University of California-Berkley and Santa Cruz, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, and Dartmouth College,” said Emanuel Bean. “University of New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Wisconsin took the top three honors, but the fact that we were up there with the big universities says something about our University. We are very proud.”
The poets began as an idea of Emanuel’s in August 2007. In that short time the poets performed at Jazzman’s Café on the Prairie View campus. In addition to campus performing the group has also presented at local elementary and middle schools, The Shadow Bar, EB5, and they were featured at Sam Houston State University, and the University of Texas at Arlington.
The Prairie View Productive Poets took first place at the regional competition which was held at University of Houston in February 2008.
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