Lisa Gore performs her first-place winning poem, “The Story”, at DCCC’s Edith Garlow Memorial Spoken Word Poetry Contest held April 3 in DCCC’s small café. Photo by Christopher Linvill
By Christopher Linvill
DCCC’s Edith Garlow Memorial Spoken Word Poetry Contest, hosted by emcee and English professor Eartha Holley, was held April 3 in the small café at DCCC’s Marple Campus.
Lisa Gore took first place and won $200 for her poem “The Story.” Chris Shavers placed second and won $100 for his poem “Mr. Impossible.”
The poem “There” by Peter Gadonas and Elijah J. Hill’s “Thoughts of Joe” tied for third and each won $50. The honorable mention of the day was Khalil Jenkins with his poem “Beyond Me,” which won him $25.
“I get my inspiration from pen and paper,” Hill said.
English professors Tanya Franklin, Elizabeth Gray and student Valerie Johnson judged contestants on a scale from five to 10, based on performance and content, explained English professor Gina Gennari, who was in charge of the event.
A packed crowd of students came in throughout the event to see what all the commotion was about and to support fellow students who were contestants.
Jenkins started off the contest with his poem “Beyond Me,” a poem about a battle that is beyond himself. He is dedicated to something more than himself, but he struggles in his dedication.
“Staying focused only makes me out of control,” Jenkins said.
Up next was Hill, who recited a poem about a friend who took his own life. “I want to dedicate this poem to my friend Joe,” Hill said before starting the poem.
Hill went through a lot with Joe and said they were always at each other’s side. “Blood was the only thing that didn’t make us brothers,” Hill said afterwards.
Next, Gadonas took the stage to recite a poem about how he sees life and the comfort he feels in it now, which makes him not want to go to heaven. He believes he is “already in heaven, for heaven is the positives in life.”
In his poem, Gadonas explains all the guilt of the little things he does and the pleasures of the small things that give him a brief moment of sheer bliss.
“Heaven is a decision,” Gadonas said. “Something only I am capable of. You see, I’m not going to heaven, because I am already there.”
MaryLeigh Sharp’s poem, titled “Side Girl,” was about a girl who isn’t loved like the “main girl” in a relationship, but the side girl is always needed by the guy for he constantly falls back on her.
“Roses are red, Violets are blue, if he’s always busy, that ‘side girl,’ is probably you,” Sharp said.
Following Sharp’s poem, Gore took to the stage. She not only vocalized her emotions, she performed them as well.
Gore’s poem was about a mother who is beaten by her husband. The mother dies and her daughter struggles through life, even having her own son at an early age.
“Hard punches to my face, a gun to my head…,” Gore said. “I should have been dead.”
That daughter, now turned mother, finds God and pulls through with perseverance to achieve a life worth living.
“That was my life,” Gore said. “I was that girl in the poem. I get inspiration from things that affect my life.”
Gore said that she gets a lot of her inspiration for writing from Christian rap artists.
Next was Shavers, who recited an poem titled “Mr. Impossible.”
The poem was about how he has overcome a lot, yet there are people that still doubt him. “I am Mr. Impossible,” Shavers proclaimed. “Regardless of what you tell me what I can’t do, I can guarantee that nothing you say can stop me.”
The winners collected their awards at a ceremony held on DCCC’s Marple campus April 22.
Matthew Lapish, a 24-year-old liberal arts major, said he enjoyed the event and was comfortable with the choices of the winners.
“What I enjoy is people expressing what normally doesn’t come up in conversation,” Lapish said. “It’s raw.”