Slam poetry hits Cabrini

By Nina Scimenes
April 22, 2004

Courtesy of Taylor Mali

If every word was a color on a palette than murals of wisdom would have been created by an innovated CAP Board sponsored entertainer, Taylor Mali.

Mali, whose performance was showcased on HBO, had a pleasure to perform for Cabrini College’s audience. Mali put on an intense-continence-thought provoking-slam poetry performance.

Unlike previous poets hosted by CAP Board, the atmosphere was not a typical coffee house setting for Mali. Laura Giorlando, director of contemporary issues, was in charge of planning to host Mali in the Weidner Venter Lecture hall. She organized the event at with the help of other CAP Board members who helped set up the event. His performance resembled a stand up comic setting, with a microphone and a bar stool and plenty to say. His theatrical movements kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

His performance is more than just words. His poetry has story-telling-tactics that make the audience want to hear more. To make his story-telling more believable, he adds in several characters. Mali used a piece of electronic equipment called loop to record his voice in different pitches and doing different imitations to play them back along with the stories adding sound effects to his work. This gave it a dynamic edge to give the audience an emotional performance.

Mali is used to performing for large audiences, but enjoyed Cabrini’s small turnout. Cabrini’s audience was lucky enough to witness the delivery of a new poem that was freestyle. Making up things on the spot is something that Mali enjoys to do in front of an audience.

CAP Board first heard of Mali as at a local National Association for College Activities. Executive board members got a sneak peek of Mali’s performance at a convention that has samples of artist to perform on college campuses around the country.

College students can relate to the simple everyday comparisons he uses to speak about abstract feelings. Mali dealing with topics such as love; one that he performed is called “Love is like owning a dog:” “Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.

And in return, love loves you and never stops.”

College students are also a focus of most of Mali’s work because he wants to encourage students to pursue teaching after graduating. Education is valued tremendously by Mali as not only a poet but a former teacher. Much of his work displays his strong passion for teaching. His mission statement is to get 1,000 college students to become teachers by the year 2006 Mali said.

Mali currently has a CD out titled, “Conviction.” After Mali’s performance he signed autographs for students. The CD fits in the category of Spoken Word/poetry. CDs were on sale for $10. His work is a lot clearer to hear it, rather than just reading the printed version. His way of delivering his work makes it more enjoyable. Keep your eyes out for him on the TV; you never know where he will pop up next.

To view his poetry visit,

Posted to the web by Marisa Gallelli

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Nina Scimenes

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