Poetry Slam Draws Crowds, Acclaimed Poets

New Paltz Students Flock to Collegiate Poetry Slam, Making it the Second Largest in the Country

By Irene Corvinus

The 6th annual Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam was held on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7. This event that housed almost 300 people in Lecture Center 100 was the second largest collegiate poetry slam in the country. This year’s slam featured dozens of poets from various slam teams including the New Paltz Slam Team, Urban Lyrics, Vassar, SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Binghamton among others.

  • Emily Zogbi, a second year at SUNY New Paltz who majors in English, is a part of the SUNY New Paltz slam poetry team presents her poem at the Wade- Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational. Photos by Holly Lipka.


The event was hosted by the New Paltz Slam Team coach Jared Singer, and featured two special guests: acclaimed slam poets Doc Luben on Friday night and Denise Jolly on Saturday. Luben hosted a professional writing workshop on Saturday as well.

Both visiting poets created an infectious energy for the crowd. Luben on Friday performed a variety of his poems to an insatiable crowd, while Jolly performed her poems the following night, creating just as much spirit in the audience with her candid performance.

The New Paltz Slam team only competed on Friday, due to their scores, but four teams competed Saturday night with Vassar coming out as the overall winner.

Third-year co-captain Katie Leach says that while New Paltz was voted out in round one of the event, the Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam “is a nice practice round and gets us used to performing in crowds.”

She added that the Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam is good training for the upcoming College Unions Poetry Slam Invitation (CUPSI).

The Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam is hosted every year to raise money for the scholarship in the name of and to honor Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis, a prominent professor who was instrumental in creating the Black Studies Department at SUNY New Paltz.

If you missed the event, some of the poets perform at Cafeteria’s open mic at 7 p.m. on Monday nights.

Irene Corvinus

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