You Were Just Slammed… by Poetry


Jive English gives a passionate approach to harsh living conditions in Cleveland. Photo by Jason Chapman.

Writing and Linguistics Department Celebrates National Day On Writing

Jason Chapman, Staff Writer

Jive English and Eric Bailey from the Spitfire Poetry Group came to campus to express their poetry at the Writing and Linguistics Department’s celebration for the National Day On Writing on Oct. 21.

The stage was set in between the Chick-fil-A and Learning Commons.

English shared some of his life experiences before he started.

“I wrote some poems that are a little bit more realistic, a little bit more graphic but because I understand vocabulary I was able to play with words and create words that are going to make you feel uncomfortable but it’s designed to do that.”

English went on to talk about the ways in which he constructs these sonnets. His history as an army brat came into frame. He talked about how he spent his formative years in Cleveland.

English talked about his assimilation into the Cleveland culture and observing the bleak tone that came along with the city. English observed the graphic and ugly truths of everyday life in the city of Cleveland.

The poem hit with a brutal honesty about harsh living conditions in Cleveland. English had been writing and expressing his poetry since he was 6 years old.

English and Bailey have held walks for homelessness and perform at various places around town.

Eric Bailey reciting his poem. Photo by Jason Chapman.

“We did that here in Savannah at Lake Mayer. It was a free event. We didn’t charge anyone, we just had a lot of people come out. We had a whole concert,” said Bailey.

Spitfire Poetry Group holds various events around the city.

Poetry is very important to English, “It saved me from some dark places.”

English’s main source for his writing comes from pain. It’s what he draws from to make his poems come together.

“Poetry, whether you read it or stand on a stage, it’s performative,’’ said English.

Bailey stood in front of the mic to talk about his struggle with connecting in a world run by social media.

“Recharge needed, software update required, software update required, May you leave without a call, I’ll be sure to put a case on my heart in case you drop it…” said Bailey from his poem. 

Dionna Williams, a communication studies major, watched English perform.

“The strongest emotion I felt was empathy because I related to a lot of what they were saying… I felt every emotion they gave to the audience and I was truly moved by how intense yet smoothly they delivered their thoughts,” said Williams.