2010 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational - Panels and Workshops Information

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Core Competencies: Communications, Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership
April 7 – April 10, 2010
Emerson College, Boston

CUPSI 2010Panels and Workshops Information

Check out the details about the educational panels and workshops that took place throughout the week of the 2010 invitational in addition to all of the networking and performing. 

Workshop Block 1
Thursday, April 8, 2 p.m.

Know Thy Enemy: Avoiding Unintentional Cliché in Your Poetry 
Writing workshop presented by Sean Patrick Conlon
Room L151, Campus Center
One of the most common criticisms leveled at Slam Poetry is its tendency to fall into clichés; and let’s face it gang, we all use clichés now and again. While the use of some clichés can be helpful—they operate as a touch point with our audience, a kind of emotional shorthand—others can make an otherwise great poem less powerful, less moving, and ultimately, less memorable. This workshop will start with an open discussion about the nature of clichés, and will include a few helpful hints on how to make them work for you, and how to avoid them working against you. Additionally, there will be a quick writing exercise designed to push your writing in new directions. Open to all!

Performance workshop presented by Harlym125
Cabaret, 80 Boylston Street
Educator, poet and activist Harlym 125 will teach participants how to "go for it" and not hold oneself back in a performance.  His methods include teaching one how to empower oneself with his or her own awesomeness.  Special warning: workshoppers are expected to grow ten feet tall and have a golden-glow of confidence once the workshop ends.

Organizing Your Campus Slam: A Round-Table Discussion
Round-Table discussion with Jason Meier and Maxwell Kessler
Room 118, Campus Center
This session will be an open discussion for attendees to share successes, discuss challenges, and collect new ideas about how to run a successful campus slam program at their institution. Participants will discuss programming ideas, funding strategies, relationships with advisors, and promotion and recruitment for slams. This session is ideal for new individuals who hope to strengthen their campus program and for experienced individuals who have advice to share. Bring ideas and questions, and be an active participant in the discussion. 

Workshop Block 2
Thursday, April 8, 3 p.m.

Back to the Classroom?
Panel featuring Peter Jay Shippy, Nicole Terez-Dutton, Regie Gibson, Sean Patrick Conlon, and Leslie McIntosh
Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont Street
Slam started as a movement to bring poetry from the dusty bookshelves of libraries and back to the people. Now, poets are heading back to the classroom. This panel asks what are the values of the academic study of poetry? What should one look for in an Undergraduate or MFA program? What is an MFA program like? What should one look to get out of the study of poetry? How can one study on his or her own?

Embodied Poetics
Performance workshop presented by Caroline Harvey
Cabaret, 80 Boylston Street
HBO's Def Poet Caroline Harvey shares her transformational approach to performance, creativity and voice. Introduce yourself to the 5Realms of your body, and learn tools for sculpting a dynamic physical & vocal performance that will leave no stone unturned. So often we poets, songwriters, and performers are able to access only a fraction of the instrument available to us; we get "stuck in our heads" and leave parts of our bodies, voices, and hearts numbed out and hidden. Our creative process can suffer, and we feel "blocked." With Caroline, you'll discuss and experience a unique process to help harness all the parts of you, and you'll open up to expressing in a way that feels complete, full-bodied, and free. And you'll feel, in response, how much more deeply your audience is invited to listen, connect, and transform with you.

Performance Critique
Performance workshop presented by Ed Mabrey
Multipurpose Room, Campus Center
2007 IWPS champ Ed Mabrey gives out individual performance critiques in a group setting.  Everyone has a great poem, but do they offer a performance just as great? This workshop shows basic and advanced ideas, workouts, preparations for those whom understand they need their body (language), and instrument (voice), to match their work (poem). Participants are encouraged to have a poem prepared, preferably a memorized poem, but not mandatory. 

Workshop Block 3
Friday, April 9, 2 p.m.

Just a Game?
Slam panel featuring Adam Stone, April Ranger, Ed Mabrey, Harlym125, and Jared Paul
Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont Street
This panel will explore 20 years of history and experience with slam poetry. Is Slam about poetry? Why do we slam? Why should we? How is the competition beneficial? How is it harmful to poetry? Does Slam help writers become better poets? Does it push the art form further? Do we limit our potential impact by catering to certain audiences? How do we prevent this?

Writing Persona Poems
Writing workshop presented by James Caroline
Room L151, Campus Center

James Caroline explores the benefits of writing persona poems--how to use the voice and experience of another to explain a human condition. He will ask his workshop participants important questions regarding the persona piece. What vernacular should be used? What parts of the story are relevant to the poem? How much of the subject's story should you know?

Writing Workshop
Writing workshop presented by Regie Gibson
Multipurpose Room, Campus Center
1998 NPS Indy-Champ, author of Storms Beneath the Skin, and Neon Juju frontman, Regie Gibson will conduct a forty-five minute writing workshop aimed at giving students an idea or draft for a whole new poem. Regie will discuss effective methods for using poetic language and provide an environment for the participants to push their writing skills forward. 

Workshop Block 4
Friday, April 9, 3 p.m.

Speech to Spokesperson
Diversity panel featuring James Caroline, Casey Rocheteau, Tikesha Morgan, Harlym125, and Ian Khadan
Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont Street
This panel will lead discussions on how our racial, ethnic, and sexual societal roles augment and determine our artistic identities. How should we be influenced by such roles? As artists, are we automatically educators of said roles? Are we automatically representatives of our race, gender, ethnicity, or sexuality? Why is diversity important? How do we best promote diversity? How do we tell the difference between educating an audience about diversity and using our backgrounds as a means to get a better score in a slam?

Slam 101
Slam strategy discussion with Ed Mabrey
Room L151, Campus Center
This fun workshop discusses the many "how to's" of slamming, including poems, poem choice, performance, etiquette, scoring, philosophy, thought process, and much more. Very informative and often very tongue in cheek perspective. Includes over 40 bullet points for discussion. This workshop encourages participants to take notes and be active contributors, but they do not need to write a poem. 

Workshop Block 5
Saturday, April 10, 2 p.m.

Put it on the Page
Publishing panel featuring Melissa Newman-Evans, Sean Patrick Conlon (representing Penmanship Books), and Gangsters In Concrete
Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont Street
This panel explores the world of poetry publishing. It asks how and when one should make his or her first chapbook? What are the benefits of publishing? Is it worth it? How do I make my own book? Who should I talk to? What should I consider?

Workshop Block 6
Saturday, April 10, 3 p.m.

Gettin' the Band Together
Music and poetry panel featuring George Watsky, Steve Subrizi, Regie Gibson, Ian Khadan, and Connor Dooley
Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont Street
Is it just a coincidence that lots of spoken word artists become musicians? Why is this? What do music and poetry share? How are they different? What does one learn in practicing both art forms? How does one use music to benefit poetry and vice versa? What music works with spoken word? Does the fusion of the arts alter the creative process of playing music or writing poetry?

Return to the full event schedule

Updated April 12, 2010