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Poets slam rhymes at CUPSI tourney

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Cindy Vallejo
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne hosted this year’s 12th Annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, which went from April 18 to 21.

Poetry Slam is a competition format for which teams compete with spoken word.

The top four teams competing for this year’s championship were Stanford Univer­sity, UC Berkeley, New York University and Macalester College.

After four rounds of poetry slamming in the finals between the top four teams the scores were tallied and New York University came out as this year’s CUPSI Champions.

The ULV team, consisting of Shannon Garcia, Eric Espinoza, Cynthia Latham and Myron Woods, placed 31st out of 47 teams.

“(Nonetheless) it was incredible to be a part of something that is changing the image of ULV and surrounding communities,” senior Shannon Garcia said.

The Association of College Unions International sponsored this year’s event, which set a record for the number of teams participating.

The poets spat some of their hottest and most inspiring poetry over four days to be judged by select audience members.

For the finals Saturday, University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman got into the spirit of the games when she recited the poem “A Matter of Simple Words.”

Brown University’s team started the finals with an amazing performance followed by performances by the Coaches’ Choice Awards nominees.

The host of Saturday night’s festivities was Derrick C. Brown, a well-traveled performing poet and president of Write Bloody Publishing.

There was a special performance by Beau Sia, a cast member of “Def Poetry Jam.” He recited a 30-minute poem.

“This is my first year attending and it was amazing to know that there are amazing poets among these teams,” said Shahada Davis, of the Cal State Northridge team.

Cindy Vallejo can be reached at

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