campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer to Host Nationally Recognized Slam Poet Taylor Mali

On Thursday, April 11, Colby-Sawyer College will host slam poet Taylor Mali for a poetry reading and performance at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Student Center.

The event, hosted by Word Order, an on-campus club dedicated to the celebration of writing, in conjunction with the Campus Activities Board, is free for college and area community members.

Mali, a former teacher and a member of the winning team at the National Poetry Slam four times, uses his poetry to advocate the importance of teachers and their role in educating youth. He has released three books of poetry and makes his living solely through his writing, performances and as a voiceover artist.

Devin Wilkie, the treasurer of Word Order, was involved in the decision to invite Mali to perform at Colby-Sawyer.

“On a whim last summer, I contacted his agent and discovered that we could collaborate with another school to split the cost to bring him up here,” says Wilkie. “As he is a nationally recognized poet, this event is a great opportunity for Colby-Sawyer.”

Slam poetry is a genre of writing focused on the spoken word and performance. Slam poets present their work, often from memory, with an emphasis on storytelling and theatricality.

A former teacher, Mali conveys the importance of teachers through his poetry, and in 2000, he began a project called the “Quest for One Thousand Teachers,” which sought to create 1,000 new teachers through “poetry, persuasion and perseverance.” He hoped to inspire people through his poetry and drive them toward becoming teachers, which he calls “the most important job there is.” Mali reached his goal in April 2012 through his written and performed poetry, inspiring 1,000 individuals to realize their desire to teach.

In the same way teachers garner the attention of their students in the classroom, Wilkie expects that Mali will capture student's interest through his performance with humor and inspiration.

“It is my expectation that Taylor Mali will be very well appreciated by the students who are less aware of the contemporary nature of his poetic form,” explains Wilkie. “He inspires listeners through his poetic expositions on education and language, and would be a wonderful performer for education-based majors, such as Early Childhood Development, as well as humanities majors. His themes are more diverse than that, though, and so he should be appealing to many more people than that.”

For more information on Taylor Mali, visit:

-Thomas Buckley

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000