By RAVEN JACKSON | Staff Writer

The Spoken Word Competition held Thursday, April 7, provided a platform for students and the community to express their thoughts and words creatively. The event was open to all ages and sponsored by The Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center and The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts.

“The Spoken Word Competition is actually part of our Peay Soup. It’s an opportunity for students to be able to express themselves through spoken word, music, dance, all of that good stuff,” said Henderson Hill, AACC Director. “It was an opportunity to really make sure that we provide something that students were looking for.”

The competition’s featured artist was educator, activist, entertainer and poet Jamele Adams, also known as Harlym 125. “From the first time I shared my work, I’ve continued to enjoy opportunities to visit places and use language through poetry to move people. I am humble and very thankful for the gift, opportunities and the love that comes from people everywhere. Poetry called me, moved me, and now I move with it and we are one,” Adams said.

The guidelines for the competition included the work performed must be original, can go no longer than five minutes, and speakers must refrain from using derogatory or profane language.

By the end of the night, 13 students participated and three winners were named. Winners took home different amounts of Governors Square Mall gift cards.

First place went to Lelann Evans, second place to Chastity Stafford and third to D-Revolution.

“The whole event was memorable for me. It was my first time getting to hear spoken word since I’ve been at APSU, so it was great to network and to hear other poets perform. The most memorable moment I would have to say is at the end of my poem when the audience joined in singing the last line. ‘I will be sure that the lady is a friend,’” Evans said.

“That was my first time ever competing with my spoken word. So I was grateful to walk away being a winner,” D-Revolution said.

“I believe it was very successful. We had a nice turnout, students were really involved,” Hill said. “We’re looking at how we’re going to capitalize and make it even more successful next year.” TAS