Poetry resonated throughout the Student Union on Nov. 5, 2014 as the Male Excellence Network hosted their annual “Battle for the Soul: The Redemption.”
MEN’s poetry jams have been gaining popularity. They are different from poetry slams in that the poets are not competing—they are sharing their work to connect with listeners and express emotion.
“It’s for the students to get their creativity out. A lot of times, we don’t have an outlet to go to where our voices are heard,” said MEN president Justin Bradley.
This year 13 poets performed, including a guest singer from Kent State University. The poems’ titles warrant their extreme diversity: “Alpha Male,” “Black Woman,” “Perceptions Playground,” “Bombs Bursting in the Air,” and more. The only restriction was time—eight minutes for each poem.
“We have some love [poems], some social issue [poems], it’s just a mixed bag,” Bradley said.
The Male Excellence Network is an active community service and social group on campus. They meet weekly to discuss issues in the world, debate, mentor each other and plan events. MEN members often volunteer for community food drives or Red Cross programs.
According to their Facebook page, MEN’s purpose is “to advance the African-American community economically and socially by utilizing our collective human potential and resources.”
Their next event, “Cram Jam,” is on Tuesday, Dec. 9, and will let students do some last minute studying for finals week. More information can be found on their OrgSync page through The University of Akron website. Those interested in joining MEN can contact Justin Bradley at [email protected]