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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Slam poets vie for five spots on Mic Check team

Madison+Parker+will+compete+in+the+poetry+slam+Sunday.
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Madison Parker will compete in the poetry slam Sunday.

Poets involved with Mic Check, a nonprofit spoken word group, will compete this weekend to compete for one of the five finalist positions in the Southern Fried poetry festival this summer.

Madison Parker, president of Mic Check, will be among the competitors this Sunday.

“I’ll probably be using some of my poems that I have used more in slams — ones that I have more experience with and that I know the audience likes,” Parker said. “You kind of have to test out your poems sometimes.”

Davis Land, vice president of Mic Check and telecommunication media studies sophomore, said people can expect to hear personal pieces.

“At Mic Check we like to encourage people to draw inspiration from wherever and write about whatever,” Land said.

Kalena Thwaits, Mic Check social media officer and women’s and gender studies junior, said representing Mic Check through the slams is an honor for members. 

“For them, to be able to compete at that high of a level is amazing for this community and amazing for Mic Check and amazing to inspire all poets around College Station,” Thwaits said.

The finalists will be selected through three elimination rounds. During each round, poets will be required to perform a different poem lasting no more than three minutes. Judges will be randomly selected from the audience and will judge the poems on a 10-point scale.

“My favorite thing is when I see a new poet get on stage and seeing their nervousness and how unsure of themselves they are, yet they feel like there’s something they need to say that’s so important to them,” Parker said.

Kalena Thwaits, Mic Check social media officer and women’s and gender studies junior, said representing Mic Check through the slams is an honor for members.

“For them, to be able to compete at that high of a level is amazing for this community and amazing for Mic Check and amazing to inspire all poets around College Station,” Thwaits said.

While some poets are competing for the first time, Parker has been to Southern Fried in past years. Her first experience on the team was in 2013 when she traveled to New Orleans.

“When I slammed to make that team, that was my first slam ever,” Parker said. “I wasn’t trying to make the team, I just wanted to experience of slamming, but I ended up getting the runner up spot. Someone had to drop and I was next in line.”

Competing not only brings recognition to the Mic Check organization as a whole but also to the individual poets, Land said.

“Being able to send a team to these competitions really helps get poets seen by a bunch of people who haven’t seen poetry performed before,” Land said.

Parker said the competitions have a very fun and uplifting environment that has shown her new cities through her experiences with her words.

“One of the best parts is that you can say your words brought you here,” Parker said.

Land said people who attend should plan to be blown away.

“They can expect to hear a lot of awesome work and probably find a poet they’re going to want to hear a lot more from,” Land said.  “They’ll find an awesome community and a large group of people who are ready to be your friend who are welcoming.”

The slam will be held at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in Downtown Bryan at Revolution Café and Bar.

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