NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When asked to describe what poetry is, you might answer that artists express themselves in a variety of spoken and musical ways. However, you may confuse ‘slam poetry’ with ‘poetry slam.’
Around 8 p.m. Friday night, seasoned poets and newcomers alike are invited to visit the Standpipe Coffee House in Lufkin for a special event focused on “the poetry slam."
Poetry slams are competitive events that showcase not only slam poetry, but other poetic works that allow artists to provide commentary on any number of social, political, or personal issues.
“Translating those experiences through a creative writing medium like poetry enables them to be able to share and kind of own their experiences," said manager Kasey Nelson.
This provides an outlet of expression for Nacogdoches family attorney Heather Patterson, who’s line of work often involves people dealing with divorce, abuse, and neglect.
“There’s rage, jealousy, fear, there are children involved,” Patterson explained.
Patterson said that poetry allows her to process her experiences with her clients, putting the emotions she’s experienced to paper. A process that she said isn’t that different from working in law.
“it’s one thing for someone to say that they’re sad, but to express it in words that makes someone feel the same degree of sadness you do," said Patterson. "That’s something that’s powerful both in poetry and in the law.”
And performing her poems helps her connect with others that have shared similar experiences.
“One of the things that I’ve found is that while you’re expressing something that you think you’re the only person who’s felt this way – other people when you read it, they immediately click with it and say 'that’s exactly how I was feeling I just was never able to put it into words.”
The poetry slam and open mic night gets underway 8 p.m. Friday night. The event is free and open to the public.