Interviewing a Slam Poet

Hello Class! So here’s a fun fact about me: I love slam poetry. When I was in eighth grade, I found a couple of YouTube clips of Def Jam Poetry and I’ve been hooked since then. Based on the slideshows we saw in class last week, I thought I would use this opportunity to ask a slam poet about the first time they performed. I asked Janae Johnson, the Interim Director of the ICC, if I could interview her. She is a national champion in Slam Poetry and she started her poetry career in Boston. However, in case I am not able to interview her, I will interview a poet at an event on campus this Friday, Ebony Axis Launch Party. Ebony Axis is a zine created by Lashawn Simmons, a sophomore at Brandeis, and it is filled with poetry by black women on campus. I think it would be better to interview a student at this event because I could take a couple of pictures of them performing.

The questions I would ask are:

  • Why did you decide to become a slam poet?
  • When did you perform your first poem?
  • How did you feel leading up to your first performance?
  • What is your creative process? How do you find the focus of your poem?
  • Are there any themes or motifs that you gravitate to?
  • Is slam poetry something you do in your spare time or is it more than a hobby?
  • Do you feel a sense of community when you are with other poets? Do you do group pieces?
  • How do you contribute to the poetry scene at Brandeis University?

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