Warriors in Words, one of UW’s newest clubs, provides an environment for poetry and the spoken word. The club recently held an open mic poetry slam Nov. 17 as their end of term event. </p>
“There was a spoken word element that was lacking at UW,” explained vice-president of Warriors in Words Sarah Khalid who helped found the club for the fall 2015 term. “The aim of the club is to provide a safe and open environment not only for those who are passionate about spoken word but also those who love poetry.” Khalid went on to explain that the club is not made up of only of arts students. “All of us are from arts, engineering, science, math, but we all enjoy poetry and spoken word.”
The club has been holding meetings since the first week of October. Each meeting has a distinct theme, but it started with an open mic so that anyone who has a piece can come forward. Some of the more popular workshops have included a hip-hop night and another pertaining solely to spoken word. “We do find that in itself, it is a different form of art than poetry. Some people are more confident on paper than at the mic, and we had this workshop to help with cracking that shell,” explained Khalid.
The end of term poetry slam was considered a success by the exec team. “On the day of the event, the room itself wasn’t full but there were enough people to give a good vibe, to have the energy flowing, and for the poets to feel like they were actually performing in front of a live audience, receiving what they were saying and putting energy back to the poet, so it was great,” commented Khalid. “We just wanted it to be a successful night for the poets who signed up for the poetry slam — we didn’t want it to be a complete flop for the sake of the poets who had the courage to sign up.”
The winner of the poetry slam, Sorbari Lahben, a 3A biochem student, commented on her experience at the event: “It was a really exciting experience — it was the first time I had an audience for my spoken word. I’m really glad I had the opportunity and I’m looking forward to many more.”
The winning piece in the final round of three was titled “Prayer,” and her inspiration came from the recent bombings in France. “I don’t know whether to say I was jealous of France, because I’m very passionate about Nigeria and there’s so much that happens there, but no one is changing their profile picture. We should pray for Nigeria more. It’s hard to pray sometimes if you don’t believe it can get better.” Lahben will be staying with the club moving forward:“I’m just beginning and I want to improve.”
Warriors in Words will be moving forward into the winter 2016, and hope to form a competitive poetry team, so that they can compete in the 2016 poetry competition at the University of Texas.
“We don’t just want to create a community for individuals to come out with their pieces and art, we want to grow with them. There’s always room for growth in your art,” said Khalid.