While the rest of campus quietly began closing their doors, Merced College’s Poetry Club was making noise all their own with the second Poetry Slam. Students gathered around the Administration Amphitheater on April 12 to hear members of the campus and community present their work for the chance to win a $100 cash prize.

“It’s an opportunity for students to present themselves.” poetry club advisor Karrie Bullock said. “These are really personal performances our students put on.”

The slam came about after Bullock watched ‘The ILL List,’ a poetry slam presented out of Modesto. Taking the concept and arranging it for the College audience, Bullock said the slam is an event for students to not only express themselves, but to learn the impact of poetry on a communal level. The participants present their poems to an audience, who then give scores to the performers. There’s also a judge’s panel observing their presentation and content. Once all students have performed, the judges deliberate and select a winner.

Bullock hopes that this event will continue to grow and has plans to make it more special in future.

“I think a goal would be to send some of our winners to bigger slams.” Bullock said, “Not only to present their poetry, but to see what kind of poets are making a splash in the Valley. It’s a chance for their voices to really be heard.”

-- Alessandria Pedretti