National Poetry Champion Slams Domestic Violence

By Diana Campeggio
September 27, 2011

Amber Rose Johnson, a recently awarded poet, will be joining the Cabrini community for the Domestic Violence Symposium, as well as reading her original works on Oct. 4.

Johnson is the National Youth Slam Poetry winner of 2011, as well as the National Poetry Out Loud winner of 2010.  Even with this laundry list of accomplishments, Johnson is only an 18-years old student from Providence, R.I.

“She’s this 18-year old kid and she is tremendous,” Amy Lee Persichetti, English professor, said.

Johnson, a member of the national advisory committee on violence against women, will be a presenter at the Domestic Violence Symposium at Grace Hall from 9-4 p.m. and then moving to the Library Conference Room in the Holy Spirit Library for a more intimate reading of her original works.

According to Persichetti, Johnson brings a new life to her poetry and the poetry she reads, proving that poetry is not dead art form.  Slam poetry is critical and revolutionary and when read well, can make people really think and relate to it.

But Johnson also has a way of making poetry accessible for a younger audience and showing that poets can also be students.  Though the classic poets are their for a reason, poetry can only move forward if the younger generation gets involved.

Johnson reads “in a way that everyone can relate too, but she also has a message and its something that maybe you didn’t think about when you woke up this morning,” Persichetti said.

The style of slam poetry embodies the culture, as well as the issues.  It is a revolutionary way of writing that should criticize and pushes the boundaries, but still remain relatable to the public.

“Slam poetry is critical of the establishment but everyone can relate to it,” Persichetti said. “A lot of different voices are heard and many from the margins of society.”

According to Persichetti, Johnson writes about issues that students are relatable because she is also a student.  Her age bridges the gap between the poetic form and problems that young people face.

Persichetti is so confident in Johnson’s readings and work that she offers any student a promise: “I will personally write any student who does not enjoy themselves an individual letter of apology on my best stationary,” Persichetti said.

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Diana Campeggio

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