Mayhem Poets Come to Saint Leo

For some reason I couldn’t figure out how to organize this, forgive me if it’s a little awkwardly put together

When most people think of poetry they think of Shakespearean sonnets, short haikus declaring love for someone, or maybe even a long winded description of somebody’s favorite sweater. The Mayhem Poets however, brought an entirely different form of poetry to Saint Leo University.

The Mayhem Poets performed a spectacular show entitled “Spoken Word” in the SCC Boardrooms on Feb. 26. The show consisted of poetic bits where the three members Mason Granger, Scott Tarazevits and M.C., spoke about religion, race, relationships, their personal lives, and much more. The trio took turns doing individual acts, and on several occasions performed together. In addition, there was no lack for audience participation. After the performance, the Mayhem Poets took some time to socialize with the audience.

The Mayhem Poets try to reach a large audience with their unique brand poetry. Saint Leo was the most recent in a tour of various venues ranging from Universities to theaters. The Mayhem Poets have performed at venues such as detention centers, hospitals, senior centers, theaters, and schools from elementary to high. The poets bring their messages on modern culture and their own personal experiences to a large audience.

“I lost my mom to cancer” says Scott, speaking on a personal experience that he shared with SLU students, and what he hopes people take away from the show. “Health and wellness, [Loss at a young age], is a big part of it (the poem of his mother’s death). But when you take away everything, it is the power of positive expression, in regards of what we’re saying, the example of us being out there following our dreams, getting paid to do something we love, is what I’d like people to take away from this”.

“..for kid’s shows, just to see that there are three grown men willing to act silly in public, just seeing that means that it’s okay to be expressive and not be called a nerd. We do this for a living, it’s even possible to be a poet for a living, I thought I had to be a businessman!” says Mason about the group’s shows for Children.

The messages shared by the group’s poetry don’t just revolve around personal experiences and inspiring people, young and old, to do something they love, there are messages on race, religion, politics, and pop-culture. One such example was an act about how some messages from numerous religions are the same as a few found in popular Dr. Seuss books, but that nobody has harmed one another over the messages found in Dr. Seuss books.

“You turn on the news, you look out at the world, [there’s] people killing each other over their own righteous book. Dr. Seuss, it’s a good message” comments Mason. “Let’s say somebody compiled [Dr. Seuss writings] 2000 years from now, and that’s a major religion. Somebody’s preaching the scriptures of Seuss, what would that be like? Let’s write a poem about that!”

The Mayhem Poets were formed in 2000 at Rutgers university when Kyle Sutton and Scott opened an open mic on campus. The group formed over time as “the spirit of Verbal Mayhem convinced the two young performers to craft a show and go on a mission to change peoples lives and reshape society’s view of poetry” (quote taken from the Mayhem Poets website). The poets continue to tour the nation spreading a new form of poetry, and entertaining everyone as they go.

The Mayhem Poets can be found at www.mayhempoets.com, and can be followed on twitter (@MayhemPoets).

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