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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Slam Poetry 101

Yesterday in the JRC 101 at 8 p.m., spoken word poet Idris Goodwin performed for a group of students, faculty and staff. Goodwin was brought to Grinnell by SPEAK, a campus group promoting spoken word poetry, as a part of National Poetry Month.

Goodwin performed poems and songs from his most recent album, “Break Beat Poetica.” In his work, Goodwin addresses issues of race and diversity, referencing his personal experience of the transition of moving from the city of Detroit to a nearby suburb early in his life. His work was both insightful and humorous—while speaking about the discrepancies in public school food options, Goodwin evokes comical imagery of young students snapping their cheeto-stained fingers, and then slowly brings his listeners back around to reexamine the gravity of the nutrition situation in schools.

Jumi Bello ’13, founder and member of SPEAK, was a main instigator in Goodwin coming to Grinnell. At the beginning of his performance, Goodwin commented on meeting Bello, being excited to perform at the College and feeling comfortable with the crowd, which was evident as he talked, responded to and joked with the crowd throughout his performance.

In addition to this performance, Goodwin also led a poetry workshop earlier in the afternoon, in which students performed and critiqued each other’s works.
As he encouraged the crowd, to download Goodwin’s work, visit his website

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