QuiAnne’ Holmes | Staff Writer
Last Thursday, Jan. 21, there was no place you would rather have been than the Technimetric Poetry Slam.
This event was created by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and sponsored by Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) media, Arts NC State, and My Health Impact.
As students filled the room, the dim lights created a quaint, intimate space with refreshments, music, and an art gallery consisting of student paintings. Darryl Johnson, a junior in Mechanical Engineering and the President of NSBE opened the event up by introducing the purpose of the event: “technical intellect with creative genius.”
He then shared his own poetry which included gut wrenching verses that transformed engineering concepts into challenges concerning the unjust circumstances that African Americans face in today’s society.
This set the tone for tonight and continued to manifest itself in the spoken word of all of the contestants.
The EMCee of the night was Nehemiah J. Mabry, a Ph.D student. He set the ground rules to create a supportive safe space for the participants. These rules included snapping for and verbalizing appreciation during a performance and continuing that vibe by applauding their exit.
After the house rules were set, Nehemiah introduced the the judges, Angelitha L. Daniel, Alexis Carson, Kryston Gollihue, and Will McInery. These judges had the tough task of picking the first place winner who would receive an Apple Watch as well as the runner up who would receive LED speakers. The crowd favorite would be chosen by the audience using Twitter retweets to support their favorite performer.
The first poet to grace the stage was Natalie Sherwood, a junior majoring in polymer and color chemistry. She blew the audience away creating rhymes that touched on black lives lost such as Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice.
The creativity continued with a freestyle spoken word from Taha Arif, a junior in electrical engineering who grabbed the crowd’s heart, tickled their funny bones, and even shocked himself with his own personal realizations.
In between poets, there was an Art Gallery give away in which audience members were randomly selected after using a QPR code provided by NSBE to win student paintings.
Next up, Tierra Knight, a junior in chemical engineering, gave inspiring words saying that “we are all powerful beyond measure, and most importantly “who are you not to be?” Then Ade Adesina, a sophomore in communication media used his science filled poem to tell a love story.
Morgan Sanchez, an undergraduate in engineering, let everyone know that it was her first time doing spoken word. The community embraced her with open arms as she shared a short but meaningful poem. Last but not least, Camerian Williams, a junior in psychology and social work shared his poem about how opposites attract.
While the judges gathered their scores, Will McInery the guest judge and poet came to the stage to give his own inspirational words of encouragement as well as his own spoken word.
He first acknowledged the need for more spaces of creativity like the Poetry Slam that allows students to express themselves.
Finally, it was time to announce the awards. Runner up was Taha Arif, crowd favorite was Camerian Williams and first place winner was Natalie Sherwood.