ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Team APG hosted the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Poetry Slam" in the Myer Auditorium at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland July 19.
According to www.penwings.com, slam poetry is the competitive version of spoken poetry where performers are required to recite their piece within a given time in front of a crowd. The definition of ‘slam’ is to criticize, and generally, the audience judges the performers by either praising or denouncing each contestant.
Jody Jackson, ATEC’s Equal Employment Opportunity director, served as the master of ceremonies and gave welcome remarks and shared the theme for this year’s event, “intervene, we are a team”.
ATEC’s Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Otero presided over the event and delivered opening remarks.
“The Army continues to focus on healthy climates, and to create a culture focused on prevention that stops sexual harassment before it occurs,” Otero said. “What we don’t want to do is limit our prevention and awareness campaign to just one month, but to spread the events throughout the year. That is the reason why we decided to have the poetry slam here in July to continue our efforts.”
Following Otero’s remarks, Jackson kicked off the competition by reciting a calibration poem to set the tone for the event.
Afterwards, Jackson introduced and gave the floor to each of the seven participants who either recited their own poetry, or they recited poetry on behalf the original author.
Throughout the competition, three randomly selected judges assessed each participant based on the following criteria:
· Vocal quality
· Use of movement during recitation
· Overall performance
· Remained within the time limit
In between performances, Jackson reviewed check-on-learning questions to fulfill the required SHARP training for all attendees, both in-person and virtually.
At the end of the competition, the first, second, and third place winners were announced and presented with their prizes. The placements were the following:
· First place: Jennilyn Landbeck
· Second place: Dong Zhang (recited by April Marinakes)
· Third place: Sylvia Core (recited by Jody Jackson)
At the conclusion of the event, Command Sgt. Maj. Otero thanked the poets for their participation and everyone who put the competition together.
“Although we reward the top three poets in the competition, all our poets are winners. It was you that made this event a success”.