2018 Constitution Day Slam
September 17, 2018
The John Brademas Center of New York University and NYU Government Affairs celebrated the signing of the U.S. Constitution by co-sponsoring a spoken word and poetry slam. Constitution Day, also known as Citizenship Day, is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution (September 17, 1787) and those who have become U.S. citizens.
NYU Students, faculty/staff as well as local community members signed up for the open mic competition to perform their work inspired by the U.S. Constitution. Sixteen participants performed their original piece on Monday, September 17, 2018 at 7pm in Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center for Student Life, 60 Washington, Square South.
1. Lydia Mason, Dear America
2. Rida Ali, Humans of the Future
3. Tori Amah, Little Kids
3. Tonny Zambrano, An Unhealthy Soul
J F Seary has been writing and performing her poetry for over ten years. Her performance career began at Binghamton University. Since then she has performed at the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Bowery Poetry Club, Cemí Underground, 5C Cultural Center, Cornell University, Columbia University, Penn State University, Rutgers University, University at Albany, SUNY Stony Brook, Pace University and other venues. Seary is currently a member of the NYC Latina Writers Group, and the Fantastic Latina Playwright’s Lab with the FELT Theater. In addition, she is on tour with Urbintel’s “HerStory.”
Catherine Barnett - Visiting Associate Professor, College of Arts and Science, New York University
Catherine Barnett is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and a Pushcart Prize. Her most recent book, The Game of Boxes, published by Graywolf Press in 2012, won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets for an outstanding second book. She is also the author of Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced, which received the Beatrice Hawley Award and was published in 2004 by Alice James Books. Barnett has taught at Barnard, the New School, and NYU, where she was honored with an Outstanding Service Award.
Sean DesVignes - Professional DJ, Author, 2015 Beinecke Scholar
Sean DesVignes received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University. An NY-Emmy Award Winner, his poetry has won the Beinecke Scholarship and the Burton A. Goldberg Poetry Prize. He holds fellowships at Cave Canem, Callaloo, the Conversation, and Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital. His work appears in or is forthcoming from Connotation Press, Rumpus, Winter Tangerine, and more.
Ugochi Egonu - Contributor for Rookie Magazine, NYU Gallatin Student
Ugochi Egonu is a contributor for Rookie Magazine. Rookie is an online magazine and book series for teenagers. Each month, a different editorial theme drives the writing, photography, and artwork that they publish. Ugochi is also a student at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies and a tutor at America Reads*America Counts.
Daniel Gallant - Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Daniel Gallant is the Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the author of the short story collection Determined to Prove, and the recipient of a 2016 Eisenhower Fellowship. He is also a poet, playwright, theatrical producer, actor and teacher. His writing has appeared in eight anthologies from Vintage Books, Applause / Hal Leonard and Theater Communications Group. Daniel previously served as the Director of Theater and Talk Programming at the 92nd Street Y’s Makor and Tribeca centers. As an Eisenhower Fellow, he has explored how cultural organizations in Spain and Japan use innovative program and funding models to expand arts engagement. Daniel also advises cultural organizations in the United States about how to use game theory and social media to broaden their impact. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Crain’s New York, the Daily News, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and Voice of America; and on MTV, NBC, CNN, NY1, CBS, NPR, Univision, the BBC and other networks. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Gallant has exploited expanding social-media tools to grow the cafe from a small, volunteer-led venue best known for weekly poetry events to a thriving arts center with partnerships across the city."
- Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction;
- Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score.
- The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments.
Performance Date and Location: Monday, September 17, 2018 - 7pm. Einser & Lubin Auditorium, NYU Kimmel Center for Student Life, 60 Washington, Square South.
The Constitution Day Slam is meant to engage the NYU and local community and provide a platform for individuals to share their talents and voices. Participants are encouraged to express themselves creatively, and to be respectful of the expression of others who may have differing views. Profanity and hate speech are prohibited. Poets are asked to refrain from the use of profanity, sexually explicit content, and/or language that degrades any group of people. Violation will result in potential disqualification and likely scorn from the organizers and audience.
*Winners will be paid by NYU Accounts Payable by University check, and must provide address and contact information, along with a completed W9 form. WInners will be selected from a judges panel.