Swarthmore’s OASiS team excelled at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) in Chicago last month, with George Abraham ’17 earning Best Poet honors and the team reaching the semifinals. OASiS - Our Art Spoken in Soul - began in 2010 as a writing community dedicated sharing their work with the Swarthmore community and "the broader community of poetry lovers from all walks of life."
“I was so excited to keep the Best Poet award in the OASiS family,” says Abraham, an Honors mathematics and engineering student from Jacksonville, Fla., referring to his peer mentor Julian Randall ’16 winning the award two years ago.
The largest collegiate poetry tournament in the world, CUPSI pits teams of four or five students against those of different colleges and universities. Swarthmore finished 15th among 72 international teams, with Nancy Awad ’20, of Chantilly, Va., also nominated for best poet.
The Swarthmore team also featured Adrianna Berring ’18, a sociology & anthropology major from Tucson, Ariz.; Ariana Soriano ’20, of Passaic, N.J.; and Leslie Moreaux ’20, of Bronx, N.Y. The students qualified for the competition at a poetry slam held on campus in November.
Swarthmore's team, which was sponsored by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, the Intercultural Center, and the English Literature Department, also earned team nominations in the Best Writing, Pushing the Art Forward, and Spirit of the Slam categories.
“Swarthmore has continued its history of excellence at CUPSI,” says Abraham, who helped the team finish second at last year’s competition.
Abraham was also recently honored by the Atlas Review Chapbook contest for his collection of poetry, al youm - for yesterday & her inherited traumas. [Watch the trailer for the chapbook.]
“I’m excited that Palestinian narratives are reaching people in both the written and spoken poetry communities,” he says.