Scrolling Headlines:

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January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

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UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Black Student Union hosts Third Annual Poetry Jam

The Black Student Union (BSU) continued to channel poetic verses through the University of Massachusetts as its Third Annual Poetry Jam last Friday, Oct.16.

Attempting to bring artists that are currently circulating in the realm of poetry, BSU invited spoken word artists Alysia Harris and Carvens Lissaint as headliners for the event.

Before the headliner artists were introduced, students and community members had their time to shine during the event.

UMass senior Stephanie Jacobo, who participated twice in this event, performed three original pieces.

Moses Steele Lynn, a U.S. Army National Guard member, expressed how participating in the poetry jam was unique in that the poets and the audience were in tune with each other. “I thought participating in the event was an amazing opportunity for me. It isn’t often that I get to recite my poetry in a place where people actually want to sit and listen,” said Lynn.  

“Make noises UMass like you pay no tuition,” Lissaint said, attempting to raise energy in the crowd of 100 students that attended the event. He explained to the audience that both of the headlining artists are driven by energy, and so if they are touched by the words, they are advised to react any way they choose. Lissaint was the 2007 winner of the New York Knicks Poetry Slam.

Lissaint’s inspiration is characterized by his ability to express and thread what he knows into his creative narrative. “At the end of the day the only thing you have with writing, ‘spiting,’ or even living … is your story. If we have nothing to say, have nothing to feel, there is nothing to write,” Lissaint said.

“Haiti” is Lissaint’s signature poem and the one closest to his heart. He explained that it is an extension of his heritage and experiences in the country. He mentioned how he wrote this poem after as visit in which he witnessed the extremities of beautiful and horrible conditions.

“The ‘Haiti’ poem to my happiness went over really well at the show,” said Lissaint. “Many people were touched by the raw passion and reality of the concept brought forth during the performance. Many came to me after the show in tears, many in joy and many with the overwhelming feeling of respect … It made me happy knowing the work that came from my heart took place in others,” said Lissaint.

Alysia Harris, who is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, was a member of the winning 2007 Philadelphia team in the “Brave New Voices” slam poetry competition, which was featured in a HBO documentary. Nostalgia and experiences with her ex-boyfriend are sources of inspiration for Harris.

To recite poems that range from her upbringing in Alabama to reflections about a family member who has post-traumatic stress disorder, Harris follows a simple routine.

“I pray, and I memorize and perform in the mirror. That’s really about it. No voodoo or anything; no conjuring of ancestors. Yes, there is one rule on how one should express themselves in poetry. That rule is honesty,” said Harris.

Gisel Saillant can be reached at

One Response to “Black Student Union hosts Third Annual Poetry Jam”
  1. Dedicatedancer :) says:

    That event was amazing!! && Gisele u did a great job capturing la belleza y mas!

    Love ya,
    Liz **

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