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The Underground Poetry Spot creates a place of expression for poets

Founder Seneca Wilson wanted to develop a community in Syracuse to nurture the love and power of spoken word poetry.

Every day, Syracuse University Assistant Director of Recreational Services, Seneca Wilson, coaches basketball at ESF.  He checks the gym facilities to make sure everything runs smoothly.  He answers phones in his office. When he gets off work, he writes poetry.

Wilson, who goes by “Kind of a One,” is an underground poet and the founding member of the Underground Poetry Spot (UPS), a group for spoken word artists, slam poets, and writers to come together to express themselves.

When Wilson was a kid, he started writing songs before he realized that straight poetry was his calling.  Now, he tries to express his motto, “give more love,” in every poem that he writes.  In 2008, the Mississippi native moved to Syracuse to work for the University’s Recreational Services.  He founded UPS only a year later because, according to him, there were no places in Syracuse specifically for poets to flourish.

“Each person has their own unique story and reason why they do poetry,” Wilson said.

The group started with only a few poets but has been growing ever since.  There are now 20 members, mostly non-SU students living in the Syracuse area.

Several times a month the group holds an open mic night at The Warehouse or at The Red House Arts Center across the street.  The Underground Poets come together to read their poetry along with poets and artists not in UPS.

Robert McNeill, who goes by the name “Words,” was the fifth member of UPS and has been writing poetry for 12 years.  McNeill said that the people in UPS are what he likes most about the group.

“I love the diversity of life,” McNeill said, “And poetry is the pinnacle of that.”

UPS brings in guests and holds events, including its annual Domestic Violence Poetry show which spreads awareness and raises money for the Vera House.  The group also performs at schools and public venues in and around Syracuse, hoping to help spread spoken word throughout the community.

The following word cloud was created based on Wilson's poem "She is my Medicine":




poetry open mic

My husband I really enjoy writing and we would like to share our work but don't know where to go

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