Portia Oyaliwola cont'd
enough, to keep carrying my spirit around.”

What she doesn’t realize it that her spirit has touched another. Matthew Charles, a slam poet, participating in the poetry slam that will end the festival on March 8th
and 9th at the Central Library.

“I came out to experience this new thing and see if it’s an accessible art form,” Charles said. “I am leaving feeling inspired. Her vibe was very accessible, yet there
are moments when she is heady. It really felt like a full course meal. She spoke about a lot of traumatic things in her life and as a poet I know it can be hard to
experience those things and then create art from it. I am inspired by her courage.”

Charles Payne, another audience member and slam poet follower summed up the experience.

“Amazing,” Payne exclaimed. “She is one of the most famous slam poets in the country. Slam poetry is known to be inherently sexist. There have been very few non-
binary, non cis-gendered men who have won the competition and this poet today is one of the first to win a very white male dominated competition. You’re really
getting the opportunity to see a unique voice that can perform at a level that is higher than almost anyone else in the country.”

Kudos to Shasparay for her creative vision and her gift to Madison. Black Arts Matter.