Spoken Word club hosts ‘If these walls could talk’ showcase


Sophomore Han Yun Park performs during the Spoken Word showcase.

The prompt for the Spoken Word showcase, ‘If these walls could talk’, explored the experiences — from isolation to misunderstandings to academic pressures — that BVN students face day to day. Students from all grade levels participated in the event, reflecting on both personal experiences and events that have affected the BVN community.

“The prompt extends to considering the sense of isolation that might go on at this school,” senior member Suhaib Ansari said. “One thing that inspired this was following the loss of Devika and remembering Chad, and also I thought about my own experiences and the isolation we feel as we get caught up in the day to day.”

Ansari’s favorite part about Spoken Word is how it allows him to let others hear his writing and see other people’s perspectives.

“If you don’t share your writing too much, you can feel like you’re better than you really are,” Ansari said. “And then when you see other people think things that you could never come up with, you really feel, ‘Wow, there’s so much that I don’t really understand and so much that I can learn from everyone.’”

Freshman Emme Mackenzie became interested in slam poetry in the seventh grade, and hasn’t stopped writing since.

“There’s nothing else like it. It’s pretty different from your average outlook on poetry — when people think about poetry they think of really confusing, long paragraphs,” Mackenzie said. “But spoken word is almost a more modern way of poetry, and I think that’s really interesting.”

Because spoken word is poetry being read and performed, preparing the reading of a work is integrated into the writing itself.

“Usually when you write poems for spoken word, at the same time you should be going through it and practicing speaking it,” Mackenzie said. “Even though the writing should be good, the rhythm and emphasis on certain words and sentences should be important too.”

To Mackenzie, spoken word means “expressing yourself.” It’s important to her because she wants her own experiences and words to help others express themselves as well.

“It’s always nerve-wracking [to perform],” Mackenzie said. “You just have to remember that someone in the audience could relate to what you’re writing about.”

Both Ansari and Mackenzie say that their poetry allows them to express more about their feelings than they would in day-to-day conversation.

“The thing about spoken word is that it’s extremely direct in its design. That way, I can get a lot of feelings across,” Ansari said. “Spoken word kind of has a musicality to it. You can create your own type of rhythm that brings people more into it —  into your extremely unique thought process.”

Although spoken word garnered attention last semester for the rap battle between Ansari and principal Stubblefield, Ansari and founder of the club senior Ayush Pandit wanted this showcase to surround poetry. However, Ansari assures BVN that this is not the end of his rapping, and hints at another showcase later in the year.

“This time, we want to focus on the poetry part,” Ansari said. “Don’t worry about the rap battles though, there’s something cooking up. It’ll be in May.”