Poets Slam On The Mic In FCC Library


Photo by: Jorge Rodriguez

Librarian and Friends of the Library member Donna Chandler Hosts Poetry Slam in the FCC Library on April 25, 2017

Story By: Marco Rosas, Reporter

Fresno City College students showcased their poetic talents in competitive fashion in a poetry slam presented by Friends of the Library on April 25.

FCC Librarian Donna Chandler is a member of the Friends of the Library and is one of the key coordinators behind the slam which has been taking part at FCC for four years.

Chandler explained that the idea for the slam came about after a talent show at FCC; the talent shows had previously been hosted by Friends of the Library.

However, before FCC Student Activities took over the talent show, a poet at one of the talent shows inspired Friends of the Library to begin holding a poetry slam in the library.

Poets in attendance at this year’s slam showcased their work in front of everyone in the library’s reading room.

Fifteen poets were given six minutes to perform their piece or multiple pieces before the crowd.

Student’s poems ranged from being about rude audience members, love and heartbreak, and even dealing with depression on campus.

“My poem ‘A Man Who Helped Create Me’, was actually created the night before the event,” said third place winner of the slam Angie Gonzalez. “What helped me pursue this experience was the motivation to write about the relationship I have with my father.”

Frederick McCarty won first place that night and Andrew King took second, but all participants were winners that night. Though poetry is not necessarily a competitive avenue, the ability for poets to express themselves is something that many poets felt drove them to compete that night.

“It’s a way you can express your feelings,” said contestant Nooshin Tavallaei. “It can be a simple thing you want to say but you can’t, but you can turn it into poetry.”

“Even if it’s not happy you can turn it into something you feel proud of,” said fellow contestant Christina Olague.

Seemah Umar wrote a poem about her experience going to psychological services on campus for the first time, comparing the cold feeling inside of her to the cold paper she was asked to fill out.

Though Umar did not place in the competition, her poem received a round of applause, rather than snaps, from the entire audience.

Whether or not heartfelt poems like Umar’s reached audience members’ hearts is up for debate, but judging by the silence in the room as she spoke it is likely that her poem at least made people think about what going to psychological services felt like for Umar.

FCC’s fourth annual poetry slam gave students a chance to showcase their poetic ability and listen to their peers work as well. “Poetry is different; you feel it in your heart,” said Umar.