The illuminating power and captivating passion radiating from Stanford’s Spoken Word Collective has once more filled the hearts of students across campus. The community group’s fall show proved to be another beautiful and eloquent performance by a mix of new and experienced poets. This past Friday at the Black Community Services Center students witnessed the raw emotion and riveting social commentary from the student poets who used their words as weapons. The audience was also able to find playful humor throughout the duration of the show — from certain performances to the show’s theme, Almond Milk and Agave; a humorous take on Rupi Kaur’s well known poetry work: “Milk and Honey.” The seats were prepared with programs and a blank piece of paper so that attendees could write memes mimicking Kaur’s style of poetry. Patrons were also welcomed by the collective with warm lights and kind smiles and as the show began, everyone could feel the excitement.
Before the show actually began, open-mic set the stage for the night. Multiple poets from the audience including, Angel Smith ‘21, performed a melody of poems that awed everyone in the room. The symphony of emotions being shared throughout these performances were only the firsts of many during Spoken Word Collective’s fall show.
During the show, the poets shared glimpses of their personal lives and their passions. A personal favorite of mine was “For Black Women” — a poem by Jamayka Young ‘21. The poem encompasses the experiences of black women in society and the reality of their experiences when it comes to having no societal privilege, yet holding such virtue and impact on the world around them. Young’s poem called for a deep appreciation of Black Girl Magic, a movement created to celebrate the beauty and spirit of black women and their achievements.
An additional poem that embodied the rhapsodic power that the Spoken Word Collective emitted that night was “Crack Commandments; My Sisters Revival” by Melinda Hernandez ‘21. This poem was specifically about the impact of drugs on family ties and Hernandez’s strong performance emanated anger and poignancy, but mostly resilience. The ambience in the room was of enchanting charm and intense passion the entire night, and the sentiments expressed by the poets clearly permeated the hearts of the audience.
The show was ultimately one to excite a crowd of about 100 students and visitors. This show was not the only one to expect this year of course; Stanford’s Spoken Word Collective has performances at campus events and community programs and the group invites students on campus to participate in writing workshops. There will also be a show this quarter.
The community group’s next event however will be the CUPSI Qualifying Slam at the Black Community Services Center, Jan. 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational is an opportunity for students to compete in a poetry slam in a paid trip to Philadelphia. Students who wish to participate must bring two pieces of poetry to audition with and will be chosen to attend the week long trip with Stanford’s Spoken Word Collective as they also compete. This is a great chance to get to the know the group and potentially be apart of their winter show.
I’ll personally be awaiting the winter show and am excited to experience the explosive poetry once more — as should everyone who is interested in attending one of Stanford’s best performances.
Contact Shannen Torres at shannent ‘at’ stanford.edu.