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Students ‘Payback’ poetry

Written by: Isaiah Smart

Jennette Hall was filled with confessions of porn addictions, experiences of inequality and the corruption of America as poets gathered on Tuesday.

Deep Release Poetry Society presented VSU’s biggest poetry showcase of the year with “The Big Payback.”

“It was astonishing to see all of our hard work come together in an event of such magnitude,” Terri Harris, president of Deep Release, said. “It was a surreal moment seeing all the poets get up there and perform their pieces in front of a crowd after practicing for months.”

The Big Payback was themed after James Brown’s hit song, “The Payback.” The night gave the performers a platform to take back the art that many feel is dying.

“We wanted to make it clear that we are serious about our craft (and) our performances, and we wanted other people to respect that,” Maya Newsome, vice president of Deep Release, said.

The night opened with an introduction and video that gave attendees a sneak peak at what to expect from the performers. The hosts, Matt Tanga and Toni Miles, set the stage for the poets in a dark room where the only lights glared from the stage railing and the ceiling.

One of the only guys to perform, Reese Britton, performed a piece tailored with lustful confessions including an addiction to porn.

Britton, who was recently in an accident, showed a dedication to his art by performing while in recovery from fractured ribs and a concussion.

Tyra Mills and Maya Newsome both preached poetic sermons on the state of America and the inequality that minorities face.

The president of Deep Release, Terri Harris, also performed. Harris performed under the name “Spoken Eloquence” and gave attendants an account from the perspective of a slave woman. Members of Deep Release hummed “Wade in the Water” as she approached the stage to lead into a slave’s cry: “Fear of Freedom Blankets Me.”

Deep Release Poetry Society meets bi-weekly and will resume meetings in the spring semester. For more information about Deep Release Poetry Society, follow the organization on Instagram and Twitter @deeprelease_vsu.

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