Monday, April 28, 2014

Students in Oxford, MS Host Poetry Slam to Break Silence

Ole Miss junior, Jalisa Giles, explains how she came up with the idea to host a poetry slam. April 27th, 2014 in Oxford, MS.  Photo Credit - Jared Boyd
Do you ever feel the need to get something off your chest?  As finals week approaches, Ole Miss junior, Jalisa Giles, took to the stage of Cups of Oxford to do just that. 

Giles, a Vicksburg, MS, native, along with a host of performers, participated in a poetry slam, free and open to the Ole Miss, Oxford, and LaFayette community.

The artists took to the stage to sing songs, play guitars, and recite monologues.

One well-received segment was a piece written by, Chealsea Williams-Simpson, a junior from Byhalia, MS, revolving around marriage, love, and pain.  “I got the idea from the TV drama, Scandal.  The characters resonated with me so deeply, but I tried my best not to spoil the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it.”

Also taking the stage, was Giles, the woman who spearheaded the idea of breaking silence.  Her poem, comparing a turbulent relationship to a severe storm, stirred up audience members, as a real-life tornado watch went into effect for surrounding areas.

Despite the gloomy weather, Giles was thrilled with the turn out.  “I got [the Ole Miss community’s] attention,” she said, just after the show.  She hopes to make her poetry nights a regular event, although she anticipates growing her event to larger areas than the small espresso caf√©.
Customers study and listen in on the performances during "Broken Silence."  April 27th in Oxford, MS.  Photo Credit - Jared Boyd
“The event last night was something well overdue in the community,” said Colin Cody, an audience member and student from Memphis, TN.  “I feel there haven’t been that many off-campus events that unify the student community, where anyone is welcome to voice their thoughts and opinions.”

In the future, each poetry event Giles sponsors will feature an open mic portion of the show.  Giles hopes that this will promote everyone to give honest expression and dialogue back to the Ole Miss family.  Will you be there to break your silence?

To view more of Jared Boyd's coverage on this story CLICK HERE.

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