Poetry at Broadway contest brings 42 performers

“Good in the Community” could be heard Saturday night at the Broadway Theatre.

The first of what Friends of the Broadway Trustee Cameron Lovett hopes will be many poetry contests brought 70 people to watch the performances.

Contestants were divided into intermediate high school and age unrestricted divisions. Tammy Wilson’s performance of “Goodness Sake” netted the $150 prize in the age unrestricted division.

“I didn’t even really expect to be a finalist let alone win,” she said.

Wilson was one of 42 finalists to perform, along with local bands Volt Amps and Just Folk.

High School winner Conner Wood from Mount Pleasant High School received $100.

He said he drew inspirations from a number of sources, music and literature as well as the situation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“I know it sounds kind of arrogant, but I knew my poems were pretty good. I knew I’d be a finalist if not the winner,” Wood said.

Poet and temporary professor of English and literature Qiana Towns said the poetry and its performance were exceptional.

“I was absolutely impressed, not only with the submissions and poems but also with the presentations,” Towns said, “I thought they would have been more nervous, especially the younger ones, but they weren’t.”

Friends of the Broadway was able to put on the contest with the help of a grant from the Jerry and Marilyn Morey Community Fund which is administered through the Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation.

Towns said she hopes they will continue to do the competition in future years. Anything that gets people interested in poetry she supports fully.

“We plan on making this a yearly event,” Lovett said. “But the next one we do will probably be in spring of 2012. Because the schools usually do their poetry sections in the spring so we figure we’ll get more contestants then.”


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