Pearson Jones, Asst. Style Editor
This isn’t your typical hipster coffee shop haiku poetry reading, where performers speak barely over a monotone whisper and their less than conclusive endings are met with the sound of snapping.
Slam poetry, also called the art of spoken word, is poetry in action and trust me, it can get really loud. These poems represent the performers’ joys, hardships and daily aspects of social life that they could do with out.
On Thursday, professional spoken word artist and member of the Peabody award-winning and Emmy-nominated cast of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, Georgia Me (also known as Tamika Harper) emceed the second annual Fall for the Book poetry slam that was held in the downstairs Johnston Center Bistro.
Profanity was prevalent at the event and holding back wasn’t an option as the artists of spoken word gave students a sometimes less than comfortable insight into their lives.
The real testimonies given during the performance were unique in their delivery, but had relatable themes.
Dennis Hicks, associate director of Student Activities, which organized the event, was pleased with how it went.
“I like watching students evolve their work and see the compositions they put together,” said Hicks. “The turnout was smaller this year, but not by much. I was hoping for more, but [I was] pleased with how many people came.”
In addition to the poems Me performed, George Mason University students had a chance to share their own readings with the packed venue.
With every seat filled in the Bistro, the crowd’s reactions and willingness to interact with the performers when they were called upon fueled the readers’ enthusiasm and established a laid-back, casual atmosphere.
Me poetically promoted subjects that would cause many to turn red with just the thought of them passing through their mind. One of the last pieces performed by Me, titled “I Fucked You,” proves guys don’t have the upper hand on women as much as they’re led to believe.
This quickly spoken performance was full of sexual induendeous, refrencing some of Me’s favorite late night endeavors.
The subject of the poem pulled the audience in and got their attention, but what kept listeners on the edge of their seats was Me’s word usage and the control she had of her voice. Me’s poems flowed out of her effortlessly and the audience’s attentiveness showed just how much in command she was of the stage and crowd.
The hard language in some of the performances left several audience members shell-shocked in the beginning, but Hicks confirms that it’s all part of the experience.
“It’s language most people have heard and people are like, ‘did she just really say that?’ but after a while, they’re cheering and getting into it,” said Hicks.
For more information on Georgia Me, visit http://georgiame.com or http://myspace.com/ghettobellegame.