Slam competition brings poetry to life

April 26, 2016

 Courtesy of



The El Paso Community College Poetry Slam was this past Friday, April 22 at the Valle Verde Campus, in the Amphitheater in Bldg. A. 


“[The poetry slam] is a poetry competition,” said EPCC Adjunct Instructor and four-year sponsor of the event, Carla Newman.


“This is the 21st Poetry Slam at EPCC, and James A. Gonzales, Professor of English at EPCC is the original 17 year coordinator of the EPCC Poetry Slam.” 


Each student that participates in the Poetry Slam should have three poems prepared, and it must be their own original work,” she said. “The students do not have to memorize their poems they can read their work.” 


There are three different rounds for each student to read their three poems. 


“The Poetry Slam will have judges, and the judges are made up of students and faculty selected [by] who are interested in poetry,” said Newman. 


“A poetry slam is really about bringing the poetry to life, and giving the students a way to express themselves.” 


There is a little bit drama involved, but the students cannot use any props, because it’s really about what in the

words tells the story,” explained Newman. 


People in the crowd are encouraged to be interactive with the poets and the judges. Applauding for a good poem or good score is encouraged as well as booing for a bad score given. 


There are cash prizes given to the best poets. 


“First place winner gets $100, second place gets $75, third place gets $50, and honorable mention gets a prize of $25,” said Newman. 


This year’s first place EPCC poetry slam winner of $100 was Adriana Bocanegra.


Second place winner of $75 was Janet Harney.


Third place winner of $50 was Melissa Garcia.


Honorable mention winner of $25 was Steven Barraza. 


At the event, they encourage students to keep writing poetry and come and join them next year for EPCC’s Annual Poetry Slam. 


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