Poets of Infinity, a slam poetry club formed at Stephens this past fall, will perform poetry promoting social justice during Diversity Week events, including at tonight's Celebration of Leadership in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. in Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall.
The group, which has 14 members, aims to shine a light on issues through the power of spoken word, said Gabriel Cole, the club’s president.
“Our ultimate goal is to express ourselves through words,” she said. “We believe that doing so can make an impact. Our group is called infinity because words live forever. … When people hear our poetry, we want them to feel our words. Even if they aren’t always able to instantly connect with what we are saying, we still want them to feel them and understand them. We are aware that our poetry is very impactful and that’s what we aim to do—impact people.”
Member Tiana Williams agreed, citing Maya Angelou’s famous quote that people will forget what you did but not how you made them feel.
“Even if people don’t remember a single word of my piece, if I made an emotional connection with them, they will remember that feeling,” she said. “I truly believe that poetry is unifying. It humanizes and connects us by revealing our struggles because despite all differences, we bond through our struggles.”
Williams said she knows she can’t tell people how they should feel but “I can tell the story I’ve been given to tell and allow each their own reaction and interpretation. But I do want people to reflect on the bigger picture. I want people to allow themselves to feel whatever emotions rise to the surface.”
Cole has been writing since she was young and wanted a community in which to share her poetry. Knowing Stephens has many talented writers on campus, she created the group to give everyone opportunities to share their works. Poets of Infinity meets weekly and hosts two public poetry slams each semester.
Williams said the group wants to “spark some flames to create change.”
“Since I started performing last year, I have realized the poetry is unifying and ground breaking,” she said. “Poetry is the only platform I have to advocate for issues that need to be addressed, and I do my best to spread awareness and encourage not only listeners but encourage myself to contribute what I can to the cause. I often have to remind myself that this is more than me, more than me standing and saying words with fiery passion and receiving accolades. This is about sparking fires within people to contribute to the explosion or revolution. I feel obligated to deliver the ‘wake up-call.’”
Watch the Poets of Infinity on "On It! With Stephens Life" here.
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