“Poetry = Power”

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The “Poetry = Power” event showed the real power behind poetry and writing to Skyline College students on Tuesday, April 10, empowering and encouraging students to create a voice in today’s society through their writing.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Skyline College held the “Poetry = Power” event where award winning poets Jessica Care Moore and Tongo Eisen-Martin had a duet poetry reading and book signing. “Poetry = Power” was one of the many poetry events that happened this month on campus.

“Identity in some ways contradicts the craft,” said Eisen-Martin, who identifies himself as a creator. “When you’re caught up on the concept of this ‘me’ thing, it’s almost an intoxication. The more I can leave this intoxication, the more lucid I became with my poetry.”

The activist poet showed the audience how to strengthen their voice in poetry through definition and breaking boundaries that could restrict them from speaking truth.

Eisen-Martin presented his first poem with a soft spoken voice. He illustrated his everyday life as a black man living in San Francisco. As his poetry challenged the flaws in society, the tone shifted into a powerful transition.

He showed the audience the importance of channelling anger into an intellectual poem which can open the minds of others and raise awareness to a situation.

The main focus of the second poem presented was about capitalism and poverty, two very sensitive and controversial subjects.

Eisen-Martin asked the audience if they knew the definition of capitalism. By defining the subject, the majority of the class had a real understanding of the topic which added meaning to his poems.

Before the readings began, Moore told the audience to focus on the feeling of the poems as they’re being read because it has a huge influence and impact on the message.

“Just the sound of a black woman confident on a microphone would scare people,” Moore said. “I pushed through the early misogyny and super patriarchal, male dominated poetry scene with my voice.”

As it reflects in her poetry, she isn’t afraid to share powerful poems that touched on topics such as the corrupt welfare system and racial injustice in society.

She read her poetry with confidence and awareness while influencing the crowd to break out of their shells.

“Don’t be afraid to put your writing out there,” Moore said. “I know it’s a crazy time to be a journalist.”

She also read poems which reflected a story about racism and color in a way that moved the audience.

Moore likes to connect with her audience through her poetry which she does with the type of style she has.

She identifies herself as a poet, a mother, an activist, and an institution builder.

“I use it (poetry) as a platform to build institutions around all forms of art,”said Moore.

“It’s all about freedom and I encourage you to get active in school activism clubs and support a system to build these institutions for your community.”