The Open Chord Brewhouse and Stage hosted a poetry slam in association with Knoxville Poetry Slam on Tuesday night.
The group holds poetry slams and open mic events every month, but Jan. 14 was their first time at the Open Chord. Because of its success, the group decided to head back for another show.
MC’s and spoken word poets Lane Shuler and Courageous, also known as I.N.K., kicked off the event with a poem of their own.
“It all started with the I.N.K.,” said the duo before opening the floor to the public. The open mic was open to all attendees who signed up before the show began. In total, 20 participants came to read their original works about topics such as love, depression and social activism.
One poet, Saniyah X, was inspired to perform poetry after watching Russell Simmons’ show “Def Jam Poetry” and has been performing since 2007. She performed her slam poem based on her first love called “This Equation.” She also performed an unreleased song called “Our Apocalypse” for the crowd.
“No one outside of my small circle of friends had heard that song before so it was special sharing it with the crowd,” said Saniyah X.
After the open mic portion of the show, five contestants participated in a poetry slam, a contest judged by five audience members to choose the best poet of the night. Participant Black Atticus was crowned the champion.
Freshman Alana Cooper attended the event for her Introduction to Poetry class, and was impressed by the slam.
“I had to write a poem for the class I’m in right now and just trying to follow a form, if you choose to write something more structured, is a lot of work,” said Cooper. “These people just make it look so easy even though it really isn’t.”
This second event proved to be a hit with poets and audience members alike.
“There are a lot of talented poets here and it’s nice to see us all coming together,” said Saniyah X. “I think Courageous and Lane are doing a fantastic job at waking the sleeping giant that is the poetry scene in Knox.”
Edited by Jessica Carr