Award-winning spoken word poet performs in Scot Cinema

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 at 8:05 PM
Award-winning spoken word poet performs in Scot Cinema by Hannah Webster
Photo: Hannah Webster

Students gathered in the Frank G. Pogue Scot Cinema Wednesday, March 29 to hear Individual World Poetry Slam Champion Porsha Olayiwola perform some of their work. The program was sponsored by the University Programming Board.

Porsha began writing poetry their junior year of high school after a teacher took them to Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB); the largest youth poetry festival in the world. LTAB hosts over 1,000 youth poets for a month of workshops and events, as well as a tournament style competition.

Porsha O — their stage moniker — credits themselves for being a “black, dyke-god, hip-hop feminist, womanist, friend and poet.” Their character is free and energetic when it comes to words. They explained that their poems are inspired by life: “everything is a poem, everything is a metaphor.”

As they began to get into their “zone,” Porsha said they began to feel more comfortable around the students and opened up more about themselves and what has been going on recently. They shared multiple new pieces of their work, which uncovered a lot of feeling and emotions, with societal ties.

The night ranged from poems about personal experiences, questions, the current presidency, Hillary Clinton, black history, slavery and several other political issues.

Porsha explained that to the audience, slam is meant to build community. “Some people stumble into a slam and have their whole lives changed,” said Porsha. As per request, Porsha ended the night with probably their most well known poem, “Angry Black Woman”.

“Angry Black Woman” plays on the stereotype whites have created for women of color by pointing out all the reasons why a black woman should be angry. In short, the poem touches on the stereotype that black women are “angry for no reason,” to which they give a few examples.

Their advice to anyone who is beginning to write slam is to stay away from YouTube. Instead, they suggest reading more work, because it doesn’t have a specific voice. “Don’t let those YouTube voices get to you; block out certain things. Block out what you think you’re supposed to be doing and kind of just be innate,” said Porsha.

“Whatever comes from you is probably what you’re supposed to be doing.”

Hannah Webster is the social media manager and can be reached at 

Tags: poet, scot cinema

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