Slam Poetry takes over the town at Real Art Tacoma

On Nov. 17, Real Art Tacoma is hosting SLAM! Let the Poets Be Poets. Signups start at 7:30 p.m., the event goes until 11:30 p.m. Real Art Tacoma suggests 1–3 poems with a five minute maximum. Anyone can participate or attend the event, but a $5 donation is suggested. Real Art Tacoma hosts weekly all-ages events featuring local talent.

Slam poetry usually takes place at an open mic or a specific event like this one. Performers often read their poems on stage in a rhythmic style. Most poems have an emotional undertone, but the poems can be about anything. Poetry slams are popular in the Seattle and Tacoma area.

Meredith Hall, a regular at slam poetry events says, “I think it’s all about expression. People come to see real life issues discussed in a way that’s new and different.” When asked about why she continues to attend, Hall said, “It’s also really fun. You get to see similar people perform new material the more you go. The energy is through the roof, you get so caught up in the moment.”

People are able to perform anything they feel connected to; poets discuss past relationships, self-discovery and everything in between. Stories transform into cohesive verses on stage. Some performers speak loudly to grab the audience’s attention, starting his or her poem by yelling a phrase or word to make the crowd listen. Another strategy is to speak softly, which forces the audience to tune in. The audience must be quiet in order to hear what is being said, keeping them engaged in the poem. Others use movement or big hand gestures to keep the rhymes flowing. Because of all of the different styles, it’s easy to get caught-up in the moment. Anyone who enjoys poetry, live music or performances should attend. This event is all about having a free space to express thoughts and feelings.

COURTESY OF REAL ART TACOMA

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