Sorority chapter hosts first poetry slam, raises scholarship funds

Tom Meyer

Communication sophomore Amanda Lapid closed her eyes for a moment and exhaled before she began to rhythmically describe the plight of Northwestern students surrounded by overachievers.

Lapid was one of six poets who performed in the first ever “Spring Slam,” a slam poetry event held at McCormick Auditorium in the Norris University Center on Wednesday.

Spring Slam, which was hosted by the Theta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., featured performers both from NU and from the Chicago poetry community.

“It was another opportunity to perform,” Lapid said. “I’ve done open mic nights through the Slam Society before but this is different. It’s more organized and I wanted to try that.”

Each poet performed twice and was scored by a panel of judges from the audience. At the end of the second round, scores were compiled and Communication sophomore Brandon Daley was selected as the winner.

“We’ve got a lot of really talented poets,” said Beth Lynk, NU’s Delta Sigma Theta chapter president. “We were able to get people from NU and the community at large, so I think people will like that.”

The event primarily served as a fundraiser for the chapter, said Lynk, a Communication senior. The money raised through entrance fees and raffle ticket sales will help fund scholarships the chapter gives out to students in the Evanston and Chicago area who excel academically, she said.

Organizers estimated the chapter raised about $150. Yet for the approximately 35 audience members and poets in attendance, the night was all about the slam poetry.

“I needed to perform more and to get more involved in slam,” said Grant Cursor, a graduate student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. “I’m more of a writer than a performer, but any chance to get out there and try it – I’m interested.”

Cursor recently published a poetry book called “Nowhere to Hide” and is working on another book. Events like Spring Slam allow him to hear new ideas and concepts, he said.

While the sorority has hosted internal events before, Spring Slam was the first time members have hosted a public poetry slam as a fundraiser, Lynk said.

“We wanted to get the Chicago and Northwestern talent and really showcase that to everyone,” she said. “We hope it’s some great poetry.”

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