Fire Arts Collaborative’s Team for “Louder Than A Bomb Detroit” Formed

Colin Carnell, Copy Editor

Amara Monae
Aside from Darien Burress and Dana Hudson, all pictured made it onto Fire’s slam poetry team and will be going to Louder Than A Bomb in Detroit from May 1 to May 3. From left to right. Back row: freshman Mary Besser and former Loy Norrix student Mike Cobbs. Middle row: sophomore Briana Jean-Baptiste, Lex Rose, attendee Darien Burress and senior Colin Carnell. Front row: Fire staff member Dana Hudson and former Loy Norrix student Ariana Reece. Photo Credit / Amara Monae

On Friday, January 17, Fire Arts Collaborative held a preliminary poetry slam with poets reading original poems about self-doubt, sexuality, insecurity and depression. Fire is an organization that focuses on promoting artistic expression and leadership skills among young adults, particularly for individuals marginalized based on their race, gender, and/or sexuality, and has done so for 14 years.

The poets that make it onto Fire’s team go to Louder Than A Bomb Detroit, an annual slam poetry competition that features teams from all over Michigan. This year will be Fire’s fourth year taking a team to Louder Than A Bomb. For some of the team members, this will not be the first time going to the competition with Fire.

The poets who competed in Fire’s poetry slam write poems for different reasons and come from different backgrounds. Some of the poets wrote about their emotional struggles.

“Yeah, [poetry has been helpful] emotional state-wise,” said former Loy Norrix student Ariana Reece.

Although it is a competition, Fire places great emphasis on ignoring the scores and placement at poetry slams. The phrase, “It’s not about the points, it’s about the poetry,” can often be heard reflecting the emphasis.

“I’m changed every time a young person speaks. I both become more hopeful with their insight and creativity and saddened by how much they’ve been holding in their own, for so long,” said Fire staff member Allison Kennedy.

Kennedy has been present for the preliminary slam and the subsequent journey to Louder Than A Bomb since 2016, the first year of the competition.

“She [Reece] inspired me [to start writing poetry]. I didn’t really know what poetry was until she brought me here [Fire Arts Collaborative] and everyone else inspired me,” said former Loy Norrix student Mike Cobbs.

Fire’s Louder Than A Bomb team will be meeting to practice every Sunday, starting January 26. Weekly practice will continue up until the drive to Detroit and Louder Than A Bomb, May 1-3.