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?

Hey! Karen’s 1st Post

My name is Karen Seymour and I am a junior studying Sociology and Film Studies. I like to read and listen to personal idiosyncratic stories, through documentaries, radio specials, and memoirs. Through the journalism program at Brandeis, I think I can hone my skills as a writer, while keeping up with what is going on in the world. I want to learn how to cover art stories–like how to structure an article about a film screening in Boston or a gallery opening.

For an on-campus story, I was thinking about covering the gallery talks in the Rose Art Museum. This Saturday, there is a talk about one of the exhibits on the bottom floor of the Rose Art Museum, The Brood, by Lisa Yuskavage. Yuskavage will be talking about her work on display.

For an off-campus story, I wanted to cover cultural/museum events happening in Boston on the weekend. I was thinking of attending ICA Boston’s film talk about the documentary VIDEOFREEX. This documentary is basically about a group of video artists that want to democratize television. One of the filmmakers and Skip Blumberg are going to be a part of the panel, so I thought I would report the interesting things that come up.