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UW-Madison Multicultural Student Coalition to host Collegiate Poetry Slam

October 27, 2010

The Multicultural Student Coalition at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will hold its fourth annual Collegiate Poetry Slam on Nov. 14 at the Wisconsin Union Theater.
The Collegiate Poetry Slam creates a unique space on campus for UW–Madison students, faculty, staff and the surrounding Madison community for open dialogue and self-expression, says Multicultural Student Coalition slam organizer Althea Miller.
The slam competition is an offshoot of the Multicultural Student Coalition’s spoken-word and writing workshops, where participants learn the craft of poetry and spoken word with practice at microphones throughout the year.
In addition, these workshops provide a safe space where individuals may learn about multicultural issues through the narratives performed by their peers and mentors, she adds.
“This environment fosters reverence towards the diverse cultural experiences of UW–Madison students,” Miller says. “The slam allows for individuals to experience multiculturalism on an intellectual and emotional level as well as experience live performance. This program directly reflects our mission on campus of diversity awareness and social justice through inclusiveness and the sharing of experiences as well as promoting excellence in leadership, public speaking, and writing through freedom of expression.”
The Nov. 14 event will be hosted by renowned DEF Jam poets Shanelle Gabriel and Shihan van Clief, each of whom will host workshops in the days leading up to the slam.
The winners of the event will go on to represent UW–Madison at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, the national collegiate slam competition April 6-9 at the University of Michigan, Miller says.
In the past, poets from UW–Madison have placed third and second and won the national crown last year at Emerson College in Boston.
Founded in 2000, the Multicultural Student Coalition is an alliance of students deeply committed to social justice and the principles of unity, integrity, responsibility and respect.