Poetry Slam Tackles Mental Health

“I once caught Joey in biology staring at a scalpel like he wanted to be the frog.”

ASCC hosted spoken word artist Neil Hilborn Monday at 4 p.m. in Gaiser Student Center. Hilborn is internet-famous for his slam poetry, in which he tackles topics surrounding suicide and mental illness. He is most famous for his poem “OCD,” which has over 11 million views on YouTube.

Hilborn read several of his poems at the event, including fan-favorites “Joey” and “Static Electricity.” After the show fans had the opportunity to meet Hilborn, who was selling copies of his poetry books and autographed posters.

With the mental health-related content of the poetry, organizations such as the Clark County YWCA and Vancouver Triple Point had stands set up for those seeking resources after the show.

Hilborn said the conciseness of a poem allows it to carry a heavy emotional load.

“Imagine a short story with everything not absolutely vital cut out of it,” Hilborn said. “Every line must be strong.”

Multicultural Retention Manager Felis Peralta said the show was “very insightful,” and suggested the use of therapy for anyone struggling with mental health issues.

“This is a tough conversation to have and poetry is bridging the way,” she said.

Fact box: The Counseling and Health Center, Located in HSC 124, offers free counseling for all students who are looking for someone to talk to. They can be reached at 360-992-2614

1 Comment on Poetry Slam Tackles Mental Health

  1. Damn good shit

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