Letters of Leadership: SLAM

Hello, Northeastern Illinois University Community,

Inspiration stirs the soul, while souls awaken one another to the arts.

The “SLAM” Open Mic Poetry Club extends to the students, faculty and staff of the NEIU community. It serves as a weekly venue for poetry, prose, freestyle, song, music, dance, comedy, short plays and cypher.

Performers include Dr. Timothy Duggan, singing, by guitar, a string of original songs; the “SLAM” Secretary Aaron Schiffman, who cyphers, sings, dances and / or hosts; and the Golden Eagles Dance Crew (EDC).  As founding President of the “SLAM,” I thank NEIU for the resources it extends to the “SLAM” to showcase talent.

The “SLAM” aims to nurture budding talent. Practice makes perfect. Martin Escobar, a student regular during the Fall 2015 semester, performed finished work in the beginning. By semester’s end, Escobar read a poem, then composed another in twenty minutes for an appreciative audience.

We welcome karaoke.  Performers may connect laptops or phones into the amplifier that NEIU Media Services provides.

The “SLAM” urges our performers to avoid profanity by discovering poetic euphemisms to express frustration and anger.  Profanity is merely profanity.  Poetry instills a memorable image.

We seek novel avenues for poetic expression. The “SLAM” began theming shows.  For the Jan. 26 event, we prompted our community of artists to derive work from the forecast that by 2050, the weight of the plastics in the oceans will surpass that of all the fish.  The “SLAM” opened a community poem for our open mic on the organization Facebook page and group page.

As President of The “SLAM,” I encourage fellow students to apply course content and all learning to their activities.  For me, Dr. Emmanuel Nyadroh mentioned how accountants might face ethical dilemmas and find themselves between the “devil and the deep blue sea.”  Combining that expression with my participation in a community poem during a SEEDS Literary & Visual Arts Journal meeting and with more effective social media use inspired me to initiate the Facebook poem, which begins, “Between the devil and the deep blue sea, / A sea of plastic bags I see.“

Opportunity beckons as bottomless as the deep blue sea if students can dream and see the opportunity.  NEIU foments opportunity.

For information on partaking in The SLAM activities, please reach me at [email protected].  Please like and visit SLAM at: https://www.facebook.com/TheSLAM2015/   

Thank you.

Trudy Leong