If you're familiar with the concept of a "poetry slam," imagine the same with performances in languages other than English. UNC Charlotte students performed original poems with in foreign languages at this year's Third Annual Multilingual Poetry Slam, held in the Cone After Hours space. Over 100 students and faculty attended this year's event that was sponsored by the Department with financial contributions from German Club, French Club, Spanish Club, Russian Club. The Poetry Slam was organized by German Professor Bianca Potrykus with the assistance of fellow faculty Kai-Uwe Werbeck, Shirley Wright, Anastasia Koralova, Aura Lawson-Alonso, Karoline Kiefel, Maria Mahaffey, and Susana Cisneros.
The evening began with a performance by Spanish poet Margarita Dager-Uscocovich who set the stage for the 17 student participants. The jury was comprised of three judges, poet Lucy Cantellano Gallina, Dr. Ann Gonzalez, Spanish professor and Interim Department Chair, and Dr. Bobby Hobgood, Director of the Language Resource Center.
In a "typical" poetry slam, participants perform their poems and leave the stage. In this case, participants first read the English translation of their poem, and then performed the poem in a different language. This year's entrants included poems in Spanish, Yiddish, Hindi, Catalan, Japanese Haiku, and translations of poems in Spanish, a new category. Throughout the evening, audience members showed their appreciation for the sentiments evoked by each poet by snapping their fingers, a practice that makes it possible to show appreciation without interrupting the flow of the performance. At the end of the evening, the judges awarded the following recognition to the participants:
Best Performance - Svanny Wong (Spanish) performed El Intento/The attempt
2nd Place Best Performance - David Canals (Spanish) performed Por cuestion de llevarse bien
Best Haiku - Nakiayal Watson (Japanese haiku) performed Carpe Diem
Best Spanish Translation - Chance Williams performed Cuando el Alma Gotea/When The Soul Cries by Eduardo R. Heredia
2nd Place Spanish Translation - David Cortes Ferrandez performed L’unic que volia dir/The Only Thing I Wanted To Say in Spanish and Catalan
Best Original Poem - Gabriel Lopez (Spanish) performed and Untitled piece
2nd Best Original Poem - Jacob Kravat (Yiddish) performed Ikh bin a yid, der iz keyn yid/I’m A Jew Who Is Not a Jew