Bringing a New Vibe on Campus with “Intensity”

At the Open-Mic Nights, which are held every Tuesday in the café, one may find singers and musicians perform live.

However, music performances are not the only things that Open-Mic Nights are known for.  Spoken word artists and poets also take the stage from time-to-time. This created a movement that has begun upon the campus specifically dedicated to live poetry.

A new club, Intensity, made up of a collective of poets and spoken word artists, is taking RMU to the next level.

The collective provides a creative platform for up-and-coming writers and poets to get feedback from fellow poets and a chance to perform live.  Starting Spring 2012, Intensity will put on its first Expo, “Why I Am.” The doors are wide open for anyone who is remotely curious about spoken word or poetry.

“It’s part creativity, part passion — all truth,” explained Chauncey Alexander, a junior and the leader of Intensity.

Alexander described the goal of the group is self-expression and transparency with the audience.

“Most poets do a lot of things based only on what is socially acceptable.  The idea of Spoken Word/ Slam Poetry is to go deep into you and pull out your very essence,” he explained.

While the group is ideal for writers and performance artists to get feedback on their craft, italso hopes to partake in contests and competition.

“When we perform we have to bring our A game just like any other team,” Alexander stated. “It’s our heart and our emotions being let out for an audience.”

Alexander revealed that it was originally Mukui Mutunga who approached him with the idea for the collective.

“I had always considered myself a poet, but I never fit the Langston Hughes and Shakespearean mold of poetry.”  Mutunga explained. “Finding Spoken Word was like unleashing a new passion for me.”

Mutunga was inspired to help others find their voice.

“I feel as though there are a lot of writers out there, who don’t know they write poetry that is meant to be performed,” she explained.

Mutunga is most impressed by Mayda Del Valle, known most for many poems, mostly “The Gift.”

“I have been writing poetry since I was little,” said Mutunga. “However, I didn’t start writing poetry with the intention of performing it until the second semester of freshmen year.”

The Intensity members hope to bridge the gap to allow students the immediate opportunity to practice performing poetry at loud.  The hope is that after four years of practice, one will have found his or her niche and voice as a spoken word artist.

While Mutunga’s poetry focuses on anything and everything from societal issues, heartbreak and past experiences – the club encourages tapping into whatever resonates with the poet the most.