SWAP open mic night fosters an exchange of ideas and inspiration through spoken word


Spoken Word and Poetry (SWAP) Club held an Open Mic night Nov. 17 in Club Rendezvous starting at 7 p.m. The open mic night was open to all students who wished to perform on stage. Several types of acts took place, from singing to spoken word to rhythmic poetry. Any kind of literary performance was accepted.

Constant streams of concurrent sounds seeped into the atmosphere as listeners gathered to see the rounds of performers all standing their ground. Open Mic night began to unfold in thrilling sequence to its poetry goals where students were given a platform to shape and to mold as each one went up and their story was told.

SWAP was founded this year by Sean Tyree. The club began in early September for anyone interested in performing, writing or listening to poetry. Meetings are held regularly on Sundays at 4 p.m. and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in Club Rendezvous. Each meeting provides a chance for members to write new material, edit old pieces or perform new poems for feedback.

The club was described as “an exchange of ideas where others can become inspired by the words people present with their pieces,” by SWAP member Megan Konrad.

Konrad joined the club because she is an aspiring writer looking to improve her skills and thought SWAP would help her with manipulating language.

People can join with zero writing experience and attend writing workshops to fine-tune their compositions into working narratives.

Others with some involvement in creating or reading poetry can have a chance to perform their pieces and enhance their stage presence and speaking ability.

No matter what side of the poetry spectrum members of the club are on, there are plenty of ways to improve creative skills while attending a meeting.

SWAP’s goal is “to spread poetry itself as a medium for students to express themselves in an open environment where people are receptive to their ideas,” Tyree said.

Anyone looking to watch a stellar compilation of talent can stop by Club Rendezvous every first and third Saturday for a SWAP show.

The first Saturday of every month is set aside specifically for a Poetry Slam. Slams are spoken word competitions between artists on stage who each have certain time limits to leave a lasting impression with the audience.

Secret judges within the audience are then used to score participants based on personal preference and delivery. SWAP’s competitions are constructed out of fun and experience and do not include prizes, but the glory of winning still contains bragging rights.

Those looking to perform in the next slam should email Sean Tyree before the event takes place Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

Every third Saturday open mics will be held in the same fashion where people from any literary background can come and perform on stage. Sign-ups can happen in person or by emailing ahead of time.

Tyree plans to hold more open mics and poetry slams in the future and to start bringing known poets to campus.

SWAP member Andrew Lutfala sees the club as an outlet that gives students the potential to become emboldened. He also sees the club as a greater avenue toward a community within the arts on campus.

Anyone with spare time should head down to a performance or meeting to experience a creative sharing of ideas. Sometimes all it takes is one breakthrough to form that next best piece of writing in one’s collection or to gain a greater appreciation of the arts.


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