It’s like Hell’s Kitchen, but with words.
The annual Anthem Poetry Slam is back and will take place May 11 at Chumash Auditorium. Acclaimed poet, educator and activist Tatyana Brown will host the event for the second year in a row.
Joining Brown are acclaimed poets Simply Kat, Jason Bayani, Joshua Merchant, Samantha Peterson and Stephen Meads, who will compete in The anthem’s slam rounds.
The event is separate from Another Type of Groove, a monthly spoken word event hosted by the MultiCultural Center.
According to English junior and The Anthem board member Marley McCaughey, the two are similar in that they both invite slam poetry. However, the Anthem functions as a competition and is exclusively spoken word poetry.
Topics tend to veer toward sexual, racial and societal issues, she said.
The competition is divvied up in several rounds. When the slam starts, members from the audience are picked anonymously to judge.
History junior Sam Holzer says students can expect a “really diverse showcase of all that spoken word can be.” He also noted the implicit stereotypes and misconceptions students may have about the genre of poetry.
“They think it’s just hipsters wearing all black and drinking coffee, but spoken word is so much more than that,” he said. “It can be fun and energetic but it can also be really emotional and moving.”
Holzer said each featured poet exhibits a different element of the genre.
Last month, The Anthem hosted a student slam, the winner of which will get to perform one poem at the Anthem competition.
“It’s really cool for students to have an outlet to share their spoken word and get a feel for that format,” English senior and board member Hannah Wertzberger said.
The show is free for everyone. Doors open at 6:30 p.m and the show will start at 7 p.m.