Poetry Jam: Shihan

We’ve all heard of a slow jam, but what about Poetry Jam?

Interested in listening to a poet who appeared multiple times on HBO Def Jam? Then come to Poetry Jam on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. in the University Center Ski Lodge. Shihan will be reciting his latest poems and the University Center Program Council (UCPC) welcomes all students to share in this event.

Shihan is no stranger to the mic. He has been reciting poetry full-time since 1994. He has competed against other poets and was awarded Los Angeles and Hollywood Grand Slam Champion in both 2000 and 2001.

Shihan has also made appearances on the HBO series, Russell Simmons’ ‘Def Poetry Jam,’ and has as written for big names like Pepsi, Nike, MTV’s Rock the Vote Campaign and the Schoolhouse Rock compilation series.

Shihan has been featured at the Soul Beach and Essence Music Festival in 2002. He currently serves as a co-host of Da Poetry Lounge and tours The United States with his album Flowmotion. His poetry includes cultural and generational topics. For this reason, Shihan is highly sought after.

Poetry Jam is held monthly in the UC Ski Lodge. UCPC selects poets who have appeared on HBO’s Def Jam to come out and share their most recent poems with UTSA students. The student turnout for Poetry Jam is averaged at 100 students each event.

Tabitha Byrne, the advisor of UCPC, feels Poetry Jam is a wonderful event.

“We bring poets from all different nationalities and different cultures,” Byrne said. “It’s really neat to see them try to relate their cultures in their lyrics. Students have a lot of fun and this event makes you think. Poets may talk about controversial things and emotional [things] and I like the engagement that happens at the Poetry Jam.”

There is also a chance for students to showcase their talents. Following the guest poet, Shihan, there will be an open-mic for all UTSA students. Students will be able to share a poem and/or sing a song.

Junior pre-nursing major Candis Tarawally has attended Poetry Jam recently. Tarawally said, “I enjoyed listening to the poets because it helps me relax my mind and it’s lovely. I think every student should go at least once, because it might change the way they feel about poetry if they never listened to it before.”