Spoken word poetry fills Farmer Hall at UPC event

Photo by Jamie Browder

Megan Falley is a native New Yorker, award winning feminist poet and author who began performing her poetry at coffee shops, bars and colleges almost 12 years ago after seeing a spoken word performance while in college herself. 

Since then, she’s performed all across the country, and on Tuesday, Aug. 28, Falley took the stage in Farmer Hall. 

Even though Falley was generally unknown across UM’s campus, students in attendance were more than satisfied with the unapologetic brashness of the artist. Some were even moved by the show, while others appeared genuinely entertained.  

Falley achieved this effect by keeping attendees of the event involved in the show by asking questions, having a dialogue with various crowd members and at some points taking simple polls of the audience, allowing Falley to entertain and engage the crowd with the topics of her poetry during the performance.  

Falley is no stranger to the literary arts and was motivated to pursue poetry as a career by a spoken word performance she saw nearly a decade ago. After graduating with a degree in English literature, Falley has used her skills to talk about the societal issues important to her, spreading messages of LGBTQ+ acceptance, feminism and body positivity.  

Falley explained that before witnessing the groundbreaking college performance, she had been a lifelong performer and writer. Until her first encounter with spoken word poetry, though, the closest thing to a poet she heard of was lyricists.  

“I feel like I found poetry in a lot of places,” said Falley.  “Before I even knew who poets were, or knew of any poets, I was really moved by great lyricists.”  

Another one of her influences came early in her life. “My mom listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell, and I was really moved by her from a young age,” said Falley.   

“What’s cool about this art form is that most of my poetic heroes are also my peers,” Falley added when asked about those heroes.  

Falley cited students as one of the reasons why she enjoyed coming to colleges to read her poetry, stating, “I really like students. I feel like when you’re of the college age, you’re getting your first education on your own, and I feel like my shows are really educational.” 

Her advice to any aspiring poets is simple: “Read. Read a lot, and don’t make excuses for writing. You don’t have to be in the mood to write, you just write. Every day if you can. And, every single person has their own story to tell, you don’t have to tell anyone else’s story. And that the most poetic thing is the small details of your life that you remember. For instance, the more specific something is, the more poetic it is.”  

So far, Falley has written three collections of poetry including “Bad Girls, Honey,” “Redhead and the Slaughter King,” and “After the Witch Hunt.” Falley’s work is published by Write Bloody Publishing, and her next full-length poetry collection, “Drive Here and Devastate Me,” will be available this month. 

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