Slam to raise funds for local youth

Groups QIAA and QSP unite for charity

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Community outreach will meet creative expression on Monday with an international affairs-themed poetry slam.

Queen’s International Affairs Association (QIAA), has teamed up with Queen’s Slam Poetry (QSP) for a fundraiser in support of a local youth charity.

Cody Dauphinee, ArtSci ’14, is one of QIAA’s community outreach co-directors and initially looked to host a model United Nations conference for local high schoolers when he attended a poetry slam in the fall.

“I’d never even heard of the concept of a poetry slam before that. I thought it was awesome,” Dauphinee said.

The idea for an internationally themed slam came soon after.

“I thought it would be a very nice, creative way to fulfill our mandate of encouraging dialogue on international affairs,” he said.

The proposed slam would be a move away from QIAA’s more traditional suit-and-tie events to something more low-key.

“A lot of our events are academic — a little more serious. This is fun — we can get people out and being social in a different environment,” he said.

The event is also an opportunity for QIAA to work with Kingston Youth Diversion, a local charity that provides structured activities for young people in the area. All of the proceeds from the event will be going to this group.

To help run the event, Dauphinee enlisted the student who introduced him to slams. Danielle d’Entremont of Queen’s Poetry Slam was surprised when the much larger group got in contact with her.

“They reached out to me and I’m a new club — it was awesome,” d’Entremont, ArtSci ’14, said.

For the upcoming event, d’Entremont said she will aim to foster the same inclusive environment that is present at all slams, and is excited to see people from different backgrounds perform.

“With this event, people are going to get a new awareness of international affairs and Kingston Youth Diversion,” she said.

As for those who are brave enough to perform, d’Entremont and Dauphinee promise them a safe space for expression. This will encourage people to step up from the open mic section to compete as part of the slam.

“For me that means a non-judgmental zone where everyone is free to be themselves and say what they’re really feeling,” d’Entremont said.

So does that mean Dauphnee will shed his inhibitions and take the stage?

According to d’Entremont, he is going to bring the house down with his first-ever poetic performance. The man himself has not yet decided if he will grace the stage with his presence.

Before he can work on his own potential piece, Dauphinee must ensure organization of the event is going smoothly. A big part of this is letting people know this will be a less serious event than usual QIAA endeavours.

“It’s an ‘international relations’ poetry slam, but really it’s just a poetry slam. It’s going to be an awesome time,” he said.

The International Poetry Slam will be held at the Grad Club Feb. 10.

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