Spoken Word Adds Flavor to Nellie's


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Eating dinner in Nellies never sounded so good; words were spoken from the back of the room as a professional poet graced the Jacksonville University student body with touching words about life.

The man brought to campus, introduced as Cuban, came to the stage Wednesday at 7 p.m. during the dinner hours on campus to do some spoken word for the audience.

Spoken word is a form of poetry that often uses alliterated verse to express social commentary. Normally it is done from the poet’s point of view.

The person who brought Cuban and his friends here is Kelly Martens, senior and novelty coordinator for Dolphin Productions. She took a month to plan the event and get everything set up. She saw another spoken word poet at a conference for campus programming and went through Jus Wiggin Entertainment to find one for JU, which is where she found Cuban.

“I’ve come to intrude on your dinner,” said Cuban as he walked onto the stage. “If you start to not like it just throw things at me.”

His first performances were a few haikus, very short forms of Japanese poetry. These were much like ice breakers to get the audience comfortable with what was going to happen throughout the show.

Before many people truly warmed up to Cuban he compared the quiet audience to awkward sex. This made everyone start to laugh more. He wanted everyone to feel more at home. He told the audience to snap or clap and even fake it even if they did not like it.

By himself Cuban did three spoken word poems and then was joined by his partner Moses, who was welcomed by a loud applause, and together they recited another spoken word poem. This poem was similar to a duet because they played off each other’s words and said many words in sync to emphasize them to the audience.

“From the second he walked on campus, Cuban was great,” Martens said. “He greeted me unexpectedly with a big hug just like I was family. Their performance was incredible and I think Nellie’s was the perfect venue for the kind of event like spoken word. I hoped it showed everyone how versatile and inspiring poetry can be.”

After this performance Moses introduced Seven Soul Jones to the audience, and together they do another spoken word. This time Cuban took a seat to sit back and watch his friends.

“It was spectacular,” said junior Mandi LaFond. “It was a relief, and their words made you think.”

Cuban introduced the next performer who combined playing the guitar, singing and spoken word into a triple threat. Many of the females in the audience were taken aback by him because of his angelic voice.

“I thought it was great with a lot of creativity, very intelligent and a nice choice of vocabulary,” said junior Abril Peeples.

After his song, Seven Soul Jones came back, and with the help of the guitarist he starts to do the same thing. Soon, Moses joins in with him, and they get the audience clapping along the beat and eventually had the audience echoing the words, “I think I love you.”

To end the show Cuban, Moses and Seven Soul Jones did a spoken word together. Throughout the song they had the audience shout out, “I don’t need no mic.”

“Their performance was pretty unexpected because they were really creative and had great energy,” said junior Kelsie Celis. “When I think of a poet I don’t get hyped up, but they gave me chills throughout their performance.”

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