Swat Poetry Jam Features Def Jam Poet Shihan

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Today in LPAC, the student spoken word group OASIS will hold their first large-scale poetry exhibition, the Swat Poetry Jam. The event will showcase the literary works of some of Swarthmore’s finest spoken word poets and will also host All-Time Def Jam Poet Shihan.

Though OASIS co-founder Alaina Brown ’13 hesitates to call the event a “slam,” it will be more than simply poetry read aloud. Rather, spoken word works to vocally emphasize the tone and emotion within the verses.

OASIS (which stands for Our Art, Spoken In Soul) has hosted other events this year, but today’s performance will be by far their largest. Not only will it showcase the work of twelve Swarthmore students but it will also feature a live performance by the legendary spoken word artist Shihan. In 2004, Shihan was crowned National Poetry Slam Champion; he has made numerous TV appearances, including spots on NBC, CNN, Nike’s Battlegrounds, Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Network, and HBO’s Def Poetry. He is recognized as one of the most dynamic spoken word artists of our generation.

Over the past several weeks, the Swarthmore students participating in the event have been honing their poetry in group workshops. Alaina hopes that the event will help expose people to the art of spoken word and garner attention for some of Swarthmore’s own talented poets.

The event is from 7PM to 8:30PM in the LPAC Cinema. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Swat Performers:
Eddie Zhang ’13
Ruben An ’13
Aaron Dockser ’13
Tayarisha Poe ’12
Nick Gallo ’14
Ian Anderson ’13
Haydil Henriquez ’14
Ana Rosado ’12
Kojo Boatang ’14
Javier Perez ’13
Alaina Brown ’13
Sean “Slam” Bryant ’13