MacSlams takes second place in national poetry competition.

By Matea Wasend
This Article originally appeared in the Mac Weekly

For a three-year-old organization, the MacSlams poetry team has already enjoyed a lot of success. They added to that impressive track record on April 21, when they took second place at the national College Unions Poetry Slams Invitational (CUPSI) in La Verne, Calif. That second-place finish marked their third top-three finish in as many years.

Another coup: Best Individual Poet went to team captain Dylan Garity ’12 (Corvallis, Ore.), who founded MacSlams as a first-year student. These awards are especially impressive considering that they were earned while competing mostly against groups from much larger schools such as the University of North Carolina and the University of Hawaii. In the four-team finals, Mac went up against academic powerhouses Stanford, New York University, and University of California, Berkeley.

Mac picks its team in a January qualifying slam, when audience judges choose the school’s top slam poets. That group then works 7 to 25 hours a week preparing for the national competition.

With English major Garity graduating, MacSlams’ leadership will be taken over next year by religious studies major Abbie Shain ’14 (Bordentown, N.J.). She has big plans for the group, including seeking more diversity among participants in on-campus slams, but admits that this year’s dramatic nationals will be hard to beat.

“It’s been an amazing three years,” says Garity. “I can’t wait to see the rest of the team continue to make Macalester a major national name long into the future.”

This story was adapted from a longer one in The Mac Weekly (April 25, 2012), written by Matea Wasend ’12 (Denver).

Other MacSlam team members

  • Anna Binkovitz ’14 (Granville, Ohio), Geography and English major
  • Rachel Rostad ’15 (Sartell, Minn.), English major
  • Kat Fleckenstein ’14 (Mauston, Wisc.), Psychology major
  • Niko Martell ’13 (Lincoln, Neb.), Geography major

MacSlam coaches

  • Sam Cook, coach, runs the St. Paul City Slam
  • Neil Hilborn ’11, assistant coach, co-founder of MacSlams

April 27 2012

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