Verbal Blend meets, performs with newest members

Student poetry club holds opening ceremony to meet with interested members, practice performing and announce new events.

For nearly a decade, Verbal Blend Poetry has recruited students to write, perform and compete in spoken-word poetry. The group kicked off its first event of the semester on Wednesday with performances from both returning and new members.

Coordinator for Student Engagement Cedric Bolton founded the organization in 2007, and has planned writing workshops, open mic nights and poetry slams for this year.

"Poetry is all about what you feel, what you write and what you say," he said. "It's about what you want to express in your own voice."

Bolton called out returning senior Verbal Blend poet, Haywood McDuffie, to warm up the room by freestyling.

WARNING: This audio includes strong language

While freestyle poetry is impromptu, McDuffie said he has to spend time practicing and researching to stay on top of his skill.

"Poetry and hip-hop are kind of the same, because anyone can do it," he said. "But if you want to get good at it, and you want to really understand how it works - you have to practice."

McDuffie freestyled for about three minutes, and afterward, other returning and new members performed their own pieces.

The poets encouraged one another by snapping and cheering. Upperclassmen explained how afraid they were when they first joined Verbal Blend, but have since improved their skills and found companionship among the group.

Bolton said he is not only excited to get to know the group's newest poets, but also for the events he has lined up for the semester.

Professional writer, performer and producer Jessica Care Moore will be leading a writers workshop on Oct.1. Additionally, Verbal Blend will be performing in an open mic night with poets from a high school in China via Skype on Nov. 16.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.