Watch FreeWord Anytime!

31 Dec

FreeWord has just launched our new YouTube Channel. You can watch any of the performances from our Fall 2010 Showcase including the introduction video (see below). More videos will be posted throughout the semester as the poets accumulate more performances. Spring 2010 videos will also be available shortly.

Subscribe to us on YouTube, username: FreeWordPoets.


What a Weekend for Poetry in Davidson (& Charlotte!)

19 Oct

Last Month…

Rodney Saunders and James Tolleson participated in Slam Charlotte’s Speak Up Youth Slam Event. Representing FreeWord’s 19 and under poets, the duo made it through to the second round with Rodney continuing onto final stage to place as first runner up in the slam.

(Above: Rodney Saunders prepping for the slam)


FreeWord traveled in to Charlotte this past Friday for the monthly Slam Charlotte competition. Kate Kelly made her debut on the Slam Charlotte stage, performing “Thighs, Thighs, Thighs” in the first round, “White Girl” in the third round and “I Hate Poetry” in the third round finals. In the third round she was joined by the poets Blaq Berry (4th place), Mekkah (2nd place) & Ganster Carebear (1st place).  This was the first time in Slam Charlotte history that Final Stage was all-female. Kate ended the night placing third.

(Above: Kate Kelly performing “White Girl” in the second round of Slam Charlotte)


FreeWord and the BSC hosted Davidson’s first-ever impromptu slam featuring the visiting artist N. Stevens. N. Stevens was only in town for the night so we were so lucky to hear his work. The event also featured the poetry of Kelsey Wilson, Elijah Hardway, James Tolleson, Ashley Mincey and Justin Strickland. We had an amazing turn out of 40-ish students. Where else do students leave parties to come hear poetry? Craziness, pure insantiy. Below is a video of N. Stevens’ poetry at the Chocolate Lamp in Lynchburg, VA. Enjoy:

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY…

Justin Strickland, Damion Samuels, Elijah Hardway, Ashley Mincey and Kate Kelly traveled back to Slam Charlotte for the Speak Up Youth Slam Event. Justin, Damion and Elijah represented the 19 and under FreeWord poets in this event. Damion dominated the slam, performing “Torture Rack” “I Hate The News” & “Her Cry.” Justin ranked within the top three poets of the night performing “I Love Chick Flicks,” “Globalization,” & “William Lloyd Garrison.” Elijah gave a fantastic performance of “The Girl My Mother Warned Me About” in the first round before falling victim to the score creep. These guys owned the stage.

(Above: Justin Strickland, Inkera Oshun of Slam Charlotte & Damion Samuels)

FreeWord Poets Support

While FreeWord poets have definitely proven their poetic skills within the past few months, these select poets were supported the entire way by the remaining 22 members of the group. So here’s the first official shout out to the newbys:

Annie Wells, Ashley Mincey, Briana Kordsmeir, Elif Sumerval, Elijah Hardway, Gabriel Perlow, James Mersol, Justin Stickland, Justin Smalls, Khafre Thames, Myles Teasley, Rachel Beeton, Rachel Richardson, Sarah Steely, Taylor Sorillo, Waylen Roche & Will Reese!

FreeWord visits St. Mark’s School

14 Oct


Kate Kelly, Melissa Guzman, Damion Samuels & James Tolleson before their evening performance at St. Mark's School in Southborough, MA.


This past Monday and Tuesday, four members of the FreeWord team headed to Southborough, MA to teach, perform and visit with the students at St. Mark’s School.

As the product of public schools in North Carolina, New York and Kentucky, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from a New England boarding school. From our first moments in the classroom, however, we were blown away by the student’s enthusiasm, creativity and interest in slam poetry. The reception that we received by the St. Mark’s students, faculty and administration was remarkable.

During our morning classroom visits and afternoon workshops, many students shared their written poetry as well as their performance pieces. While some students weren’t completely familiar with spoken word, their willingness to learn, participate and experiment with their own writing was fantastic! By the end of our visit, the students had already began to form their  own a poetry group on campus. This is what our work is all about, motivating other to explore their own creativity through slam poetry.

Our evening performance featured a few older pieces, such as “Torture Rack,”  “Guerilla Girl,” “Jam Session In Heaven,” and “Thighs, Thighs Thighs.” St. Mark’s also saw the premier of new poems as well, including “I Hate Poetry,” “Mi Tia Juliana,” “White Girl,” “Grandmother,” and “I Wish Someone Had Told Me In High School”–a piece written specifically for St. Mark’s students. Videos of the performance should be up shortly. For more information on our St. Mark’s visit, you can read the following article here: Award Winning Poets Come to St. Mark\’s

FreeWord would like to extend a huge thank you out to all of the St. Mark’s students, faculty and administration who welcomed us with open arms, ears and minds. We are so grateful for this opportunity. Thanks again, for helping us grow as poets and people. We can’t wait to see what you all will do in the future!

Peace, Love & Poetry,                                                                                                                                     FreeWord


(Photo Credit: St. Mark’s School Website. See attached link.)

A Post-Junot, Pre-Powell Pick You Up

5 Oct

The Poet lounges in bed...Are you feeling inspired today?

Here are some great quotes and prompts for your to meditate on and struggle with. Feel free to post responses or additional prompts below as a way of sharing. Enjoy:

“After years of traveling to many continents, meeting thousands of people of different nationalities and exploring all the important philosophies and religions of the world, I…”*

“Down by the river, there are two androids steering their metallic blue Digi-Fin toward the dock. Halbie, the one on the left, leans swiftly to Dalpha’s earhole and whispers softly….”*

“Burned by babes bearing the bruises of unbuilt bodies, I ambled forth into the waning mistlite of this October reverie, whistling to myself that old Don Trip tune…”*

“We were both naked when…”

“When I was born, they said…”

“Their days would sometimes start with a…”

“My [family member] was a…”

“The things we do in the name of…”

“Tongue kissed me technicolor”– SlamCharlotte Sept. 17, 2010

“And that’s where it all began, in the bathroom…”- Junot Diaz

“We talked and it happened…and three days later I cried about it and I was done.”– Junot Diaz

“The book is the ultimate act of put your hand out into the darkness in hopes that someone else will reach back.”– Junot Diaz

“We don’t live our lives in genre, we live our lives in enormous complexity.”–Junot Diaz

“My family didn’t stop laughing because sh** was hard.”–Junot Diaz

“The best thing for your art is the world…Young Artist, get ye hence”–Junot Diaz

“Get your heart broken on two different continents.”–Junot Diaz

“There will be no other end of the world”–Czeslaw Milosz

“And waking one morning we realize that we have forgotten”–Anna Akhmatova

“The same night whitening the same trees./ We of that time, are no longer the same.”–Pablo Neruda

“And they, like silent veins of silver ore,/ were winding through it’s darkness. Between roots…”–Rilke

“That’s what destiny means; to be opposite/ and nothing but that, always opposite.”– Rilke

“If I die…”–Lorca

“I do not want them to cover his face with handkerchiefs/ that he may get used to the death he carries.”– Lorca

* Denotes prompts provided by Sir Waylen Roche Esquire II

Audition Location Change!

3 Sep
Thanks to the amazing DC Theatre Department, we’ve now secured an amazing space to hold auditions: Cunningham Room 100. Cunningham is located directly across the street from the Visual Arts Center (VAC) and slightly caddy-corner to the Guest House. When coming into Davidson from 1-77 you will run directly into Cunningham at the Main St/Griffith St intersection.
The Theater Department has been extremely generous in letting us use this space and I do not want to get on their bad side. Please do not bring any food or drink into this room. Also, if you arrive any later than 9:15, your CatCard access will be denied and you wont be able to get inside. This is a safety precaution for the building and we must respect it. Please arrive no later than 9PM so that we can get this thing going!
Recap: Sunday, (no later than) 9pm, Cunningham 100. Yay.
Peace, Love & No Food or Drink,

FreeWord Auditions

2 Sep

FreeWord will be hosting auditions for this Fall’s group this Sunday, September 5, at 9 pm in Chambers 3234.

This audition is open to any and all Davidson students wishing to explore the world of slam poetry, spoken word or performance art. Arrive at room 3234 a little before 9 o’clock with a piece ready to perform.

We’re ready to get to know our new family members and we’re excited to see your best work. Remember, as you perform, that art is a gift so please stay after your performance to support your fellow poets who are auditioning and accept their words as they offer them to the group. We’re here to support, learn and offer art to others.

Also, if you have any concerns, jitters or just want some feedback before Sunday evening, you can always email any current FreeWord member for advice. We’re here to help you.

Break a lip,


Welcome to the FreeWord Family

3 Jun

Thank for visiting the FreeWord website.

FreeWord began as just an idea during the summer of 2009 as founder and current FreeWord coach, Clint Smith,  questioned the artistic space that Davidson College offered. Clint created FreeWord after realizing how unfamiliar many Davidson students were with spoken word poetry, and saw and opportunity to bring an art form to the campus that could really get people’s attention. He also saw it as a chance to provide a platform for talented performers and writers to grow as poets and people.

Freeword is now Davidson College’s premiere slam poetry group, hosting performances to packed crowds in the 900 Room. Competing at College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) in April of 2010, the group placed within the top ten in the country to advance and compete in semifinals.

In their first year as a team, The FreeWord family has grown to include twelve living, breathing and spitting poets who are ready with open arms to welcome Davidson’s next incoming class of first-years.

Feel free to browse the site for information on our poets as well as upcoming performance dates and events.

Welcome to the family!