weSLAM Takes 2nd @ SUNY New Paltz Regionals, “Making History”

The weSLAM team had its first-ever away game on February 5th at SUNY New Paltz.  The team–consisting of poets Nick Petrie ’12, Michael Rosen ’11, Josh Smith ’11, Emily Weitzman ’14, and Randyl Wilkerson ’12–took second place out of four teams in the two-round regional poetry slam.

Brian “Omni” Dillon–established slam poet, NYU professor, and founder of the SUNY Slam–had the following to say on the wall of the weSLAM Facebook group:

It has been eight years since a school other than SUNY Oneonta (Five Titles) or SUNY New Paltz (Four Titles) has finished in the top two at Regionals.  Many, many teams have tried to break that stranglehold.  Congrats on making history. It’s about time.

Way to go, weSLAM!

Says Nick Petrie, whose original poem “Hegemonic Order” inspired a group piece that the three male team members performed together at regionals:

I’d definitely say the highlight of regionals was not the competition but rather the camaraderie with the other poets and a sense of connecting into a community. I’m not sure I have that many other words about it now, other than that it was overwhelming and has made focusing on anything but poems incredibly difficult.

Says Michael Rosen, who famously started weSLAM in the fall:

We were pretty nervous that a team competition would have a cut-throat atmosphere, where the poetry got lost amidst the points.  But what we found in New Paltz was an environment as welcoming as it was casual.  These kids were just as much about the poetry and the people behind it as we were, reacting as strongly to their teammates’ lines as those from other schools.  It was about being there in that time in that place with those people and celebrating it through poetry–which we did…until about 4 in the morning.

Says Emily Weitzman, the team’s sole freshman:

Each time a new poet went up on stage, we learned his/her name.  Moments later, we learned intimate details about that poet’s life and love and everything in between.  Each poet gave us a piece of his/her soul, and as a result, everyone in the audience was up there on stage with that poet.

The team didn’t really know what to expect, but I think that the experience was beyond what any of us could have imagined.  I think we’re all pretty excited that this is only the beginning.

As we’ve often heard, “Forget the score, let’s give it up for the poet.”  So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it up for the poets one more time:

  • Nick Petrie
  • Michael Rosen
  • Josh Smith
  • Emily Weitzman
  • Randyl Wilkerson

Also, please put your hands together for the slamtourage of nine that followed our team to New Paltz.  All y’all rock.

Pics and/or video hopefully to follow shortly.

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