One final slam

Queen’s Poetry Slam hosts an emotionally-charged finale

Queen’s Poetry slam facilitator, Danielle d’Entremont.
Queen’s Poetry slam facilitator, Danielle d’Entremont.
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Queen’s Poetry Slam held their last slam and open-mic event of the year in an emotional finish at The Mansion on Monday.

The night started with the founder and Executive Director, Danielle d’Entremont, thanking all of the attendees for filling the small venue and so committedly supporting her endeavour, which started as a hastily organized community event only a year and a half ago.

More than 60 people crowded into the dimly lit room, more of them standing than there were chairs.

It would be the quietest the room was all night.

Not long after, people began to command the stage during the open-mic portion of the event. Some were newcomers, while others were seasoned performers of poetry.

All were met with loud finger-snapping, laughter in certain moments and somber sighs in others.

Jessie Read, ArtSci ’17, began attending Queen’s Poetry Slam’s monthly events in October and has been “slamming” since.

“It’s a very open environment,” Read said. “The people who run it are incredible. This has gotten so much bigger over time.” The poets were just as diverse as the poems themselves. From a poet who comically called herself the “slamming granny”, to one who spoke about her experience being bisexual, to one who had the audience beat boxing throughout his performance, it was clear Queen’s Poetry Slam offered a space on stage for everyone.

One poem — by third-year French exchange student Anais Coulon, performed in both French and English — was dedicated to Queen’s Poetry Slam and written in honour of the last slam of the year. In it, she thanked them for allowing for open expression.

The last slam of the year was charged with emotion, expression and an insatiable poetic energy.

It marked an end of another year for this community of slam poets, but the beginning of something that d’Entremont and her successor, Rachel Manson, believe can only grow from here.

Throughout the night, the crowd nodded encouragingly, chuckled knowingly and, more than anything, finger-snapped their support for each poet who chose to pour their heart out on stage.

d’Entremont watched from the sidelines, clearly proud of all her event had come to mean. This is her last year facilitating the monthly poetry slam.

She said the event had started at The Sleepless Goat, moved to The Grad Club and then recently relocated to The Mansion.

“It’s been packed every single night — people come an hour and a half early.”

d’Entremont, ArtSci ’14, said that a forum for expression like poetry was needed at Queen’s.

“There wasn’t simply a want for poetry in the Queen’s community,” she said. “There was a need for it.”

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