‘Leave It On the Stage!’

Tevin Moore

Poet John Lewis hosted “Leave it On the Stage,” on Wednesday in the Student Union Theater, an event that utilized spoken word poetry, which originated during the Harlem Renaissance.

The event was sponsored by the UMKC Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Participants were encouraged to express their deepest feelings showing the appreciation for the time spent with the audience.

“Leave It On the Stage” consisted of 15 poets, eight singers, three rap artists, two dancers and two bands – totaling 30 acts.

There were several great performances and then there were some that needed the crowd’s support, which ended in a round of applause, or snaps, showing respect to the poets.

There were several inspiring and notable lines throughout the performances.

Each poet’s message varied. Many poets, who were highlighted heavily for their particular vernacular with their expression of words, sent the message of “when you’re standing tall and feeling high, prepare to fall hard and feel horrible, but be strong enough and willing to stand up again and silence the critics.”

Some of the poets participated were from different areas and universities.

“Leave It On the Stage” had an enthusiastic poet from UCM come out and show his “appreciation of the support that I was given back at my first Open-Mic night.” There was another poet from Warrensburg, Mo. who also contributed to the event, praising UMKC for the support it’s shown.

“I’ve been doing spoken word for two years now, but I’ve always written.

I’m most inspired by select music and different emotional states,” Lewis said.

This was attention-grabbing because many audience members write poetry as a passion, inspired by music and different feelings.

Lewis explained he does spoken word “to get the point across about human beings in society, about how we all interact with one another.”

Lewis’s favorite quote of the event was “I’m changing perceptions with a recession, there’s a pre-session for dead presidents turned green, and money kills.” This quote seemed to be true and very blunt.

Another interviewee, Josh Cotton, discussed his favorite quote of the night.

Cotton said he became alert when a poet said, “What’s up, b—-?”

The poem recited was called “A Letter to my 16 year-old Self.” Cotton discussed that this particular poem made him listen to everyone after because he was “only attending the show to support me and my poetry.”

“I did end up enjoying myself even though I didn’t get to hear my friend’s poem,” Cotton said.

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