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Getting right into the topic at hand, I confess I’ve never been to a poetry slam. Just watched a couple on Youtube, while chewing on some junk food. With passionate gestures and a loud voice, a lot of them talk about what grabs their goat.

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That’s the magic of our current age: if you so desire, you don’t have to see anything live again. But be that as it may, performance through a screen is just not the same. You cannot feel the audience and stage heat, and these passionate people you do not get to meet. So come on down and jam, and welcome to the SLAM!

The 5th Annual WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! will be held on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 from 5:00–7:00 PM at the Snite Museum of Art.

The WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM!  is a poetry competition at the University of Notre Dame that, although relatively young, was instantly a classic from its onset, among both locals and people from across the U.S. The talent, the emotion and the artistry can only be paralleled with the congenial yet competitive atmosphere that is unique to the WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! In these trying times, come together with your Notre Dame family and celebrate art, poetry, and the people who make it all come alive.

This slam will consist of three rounds, all poets performing in the first and second rounds. The finalists will compete in the final round to become South Bend royalty. The winner will be announced at the end of the night, by judges picked at random from the audience.

Join us for this truly once-a-year experience!

Open mic starts at 5 PM.


Hayley Flynn, the president of Spoken Word ND, is a sophomore English major and German minor who hopes to be a novelist and creative writing professor.  She loves Tarantino movies, Virginia Woolf, and mac n cheese.


Pam Blair, known as Poetic Melody when with her poetry family, is a born artist, who didn’t find her love for poetry until later in life. Poetry has become her life’s journal in metaphoric pieces of expression. Her motto is to I.P.M.C. Inspire, Provoke, Motivate to Create.

Sylvia Ciocca, a sophomore English and Management Consulting major and the Vice President of Spoken Word ND, has dreamed of becoming a touring spoken word poet since her early high school days. Upon graduation, she wishes to work at a consulting job in NYC while writing and performing her poetry at night, in hopes of avoiding the starving artist lifestyle. Her favorite quote is from an Andrea Gibson poem, and inspires her daily: “A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, ‘So does God, that’s why you can see the Grand Canyon from the moon.’”

Jesse Camper is a senior Business student at Indiana University South Bend from Chicago who sparked his first interest in poetry at the ripe age of 13 years old. Since then he has won many awards, including the 1st place prize of last year’s Wham Bam Poetry Slam and two time 1st place winner of IUSB Apollo night. Outside of poetry and school, he loves to go out with friends to the bar and frequently enjoys binge watching almost anything on Netflix.

Trevor Canty: First-Year. Recovering coffee addict.

Spencer Clark French is a sophomore college student of Theology and Literature who loves long walks on the beach and low-lit hipster coffee bars. He has long hair, maintains a healthy love for old Twenty One Pilots, and is a semi-professional word-sayer. He also writes a weekly blog that you can find via his Instagram: @spencerclarkfrench. Check it out, or don’t. He doesn’t care. It’s not like he wrote this bio.

Angelle Henderson is a first year student reigning from New Orleans, LA. She began writing poetry when she felt silenced by the world around her and writing was the only way people would listen. Her silent and shy persona was never compromised by the screams of her poems. Her poems reflect who she is, what she’s been through, what she’s witnessed, and where she’s going. She hopes you enjoy who she is, but even if you don’t, that won’t stop her from screaming from the mountain tops.

Maya Jain is a senior Theology major who is very grateful for the chance to participate in her first poetry slam! When she’s not pondering the big questions of life or formulating opinions on social justice issues, she loves singing, playing tuba, drawing and painting, and laughing really, really loudly.

Aaron Moe used to despise English literature until he was an undergrad at college where he read Shelley, decided to major in English, and never looked back. He lives in Mishawaka with his family and teaches at Saint Mary’s College.

Katie Scherzinger is a Gryffindor and a Libra. You might think writing is what she loves most in the world, but her true passion is taking stealthy pictures of dogs on campus for her friends to enjoy via Snapchat story.

Charles Terry partners with students and leaders to create energizing performance art. Charles’s hope for humanity is that performance art will empower students and leaders to critically engage communities.

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