Each year at F-Word Live, the crowd grows and snaps from the audience intensify as students and local community members present their take on the f-word. It’s not the four-letter f-word, but the eight-letter f-word — feminism.
The University of Idaho Women’s Center will be hosting its annual F-Word Live Poetry Slam at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pittman center.
Rebekah MillerMacPhee, Women’s Center employee and co-emcee for the event, said the Women’s Center is accepting poetry submissions until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 from students or community members who would like to perform spoken word poetry at the event. Artists can submit their work online at http://bit.ly/2i1uhBr. MillerMacPhee said no experience is needed to perform.
“We enjoy having a variety of experience levels,” she said. “I love hearing people who perform their original work, whether they’re confident and energized or it’s their first time performing and they’re nervous.”
While admittance to the event has been free in the past, this year, tickets will be $5 for students and $10 for non-students. Proceeds will be donated to Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP), a local non-profit organization that provides support and safety for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, according to the ATVP webpage. Tickets will be on sale at the Women’s Center starting Oct. 16 and will also be available at the door.
According to the Women’s Center event webpage, the poetry slam is intended to “showcase relationships to and perspectives of feminism, gender justice, racial equality, intersectionality and patriarchy.”
MillerMacPhee said the event first began in 2006 and was organized by the student organization Feminist Lead Activist Movement to Empower (FLAME). MillerMacPhee said she was a member of FLAME and said the goal was to create an accessible space where people could express their own feminisms.
“We wanted our voices to be heard, and we wanted others’ voices to be heard,” she said.
While the event is no longer student-run, MillerMacPhee said the Women’s Center is trying to maintain that space where people can express themselves. It is exciting to get both a lot of new and old attendees and to hear many different perspectives, she said.
Traci Craig, Co-emcee and UI professor of social psychology, said she has emceed every F-Word Live event except one and was the faculty advisor of FLAME when the event first began. Craig said spoken word provides a way for people to feel heard and broaden their own perspectives. They can realize feminism can be more than the common narrow definition or negative connotations, she said.
“It pushes people to think about feminism beyond stereotypes,” Craig said. “Any number of factors often get left out of conversations about what feminism means.”
Craig said she urges people to submit their work, to take that next step and be a bit uncomfortable. She said having a university education and getting what one is paying for requires being slightly uncomfortable. She said the event provides a platform where people support one another and can experience that discomfort in an educational and engaged space.
MillerMacPhee said after F-Word Live she sees more people connecting to each other and more people coming into the Women’s Center and asking about other events, people wanting another outlet to speak their minds. She said there is an uptick in engagement and excitement on campus.
The event is energetic, MillerMacPhee said. She said it creates a lot of buzz, and every time she leaves F-Word Live she can’t fall asleep. MillerMacPhee said the performers are not professionals, and it’s both motivating and empowering to see that.
“This is us. This is our community,” she said.
Jordan Willson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 5 p.m. Oct. 13
Submit to: http://bit.ly/2i1uhBr
Requirements: Submissions must be 4 minutes or less. They should somehow relate to feminism or another social justice issue, and must not be hostile or hateful.
Artists will be notified whether or not they have been selected to perform by Oct. 23.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 2
Where: Bruce Pitman Center International Ballroom
Cost: $5 for students, $10 for non-students