Ebony Stewart comes to MTU



I’m sure everyone remembers the unit of high school English when they had to read countless poems by authors such as Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Wordsworth. I always liked poetry, but I was never a huge fan of doing it in high school English primarily because of the forced style the teachers made it seem was necessary and the themes they would make us memorize.

I always wished that we could have a little bit more freedom with the way we did our poems, and didn’t have to stick to a certain theme or style. I felt that, on one hand, it was important to read poetry from centuries past to get a glimpse of our world’s history, but, on the other hand, I thought that there needed to be some modern-day poems regarding issues that us students actually faced day to day included in what we were reading.

As it turns out, there is a certain form of poetry that is so honest and vulnerable that many people love and perform all around the world for its openness of ideas and freedom to talk about challenging issues: slam poetry.

Ebony Stewart, who is coming to Michigan Tech soon, is constantly changing and reevaluating the ways in which people portray poetry by touring all across the country and speaking on issues and experiences surrounding the black community.

Ebony Stewart is a woman of many trades. After being crowned a “slam champion” of slam poetry in Austin, Texas three times in a row, she went on to tour around the country and use the power of poetry to speak on some of the most challenging and pressing issues in our country.

Ebony frequently speaks on issues such as “sexuality, womanhood, race and gender” all surrounding the black community. She hopes that her poetry will “remove shame, heal minds and encourage dialogue.”

Ebony also has done several one-woman shows which have also received prestigious awards such as the David Mark Cohen New Play Award as well as the B. Iden Payne Award. Ebony Stewart, after accomplishing all of this, went on to compete in the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam competition– and won the entire thing! Through all of this, Ebony considers herself a “sex advocate” and is currently in training to become a licensed sex therapist. Her work can be seen on various popular news outlets and websites such as Teen Vogue, Afropunk and The Texas Observer. If you want to watch her speaking any of her poems, many can be found at “Button Poetry” or “Write About Now.”

Ebony Stewart will perform here at Michigan Tech on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. with the Black Students Association sponsoring the show.  Ebony will perform in the “Backstage Rosza” pop-up venue in the backstage of the Rosza. In addition to Ebony’s performance, there will also be an open-mic slam poetry event before the show. Feel free to bring your best poetry and entertain or wow the audience. As always, admission is free with your Tech ID for students. Tickets are $15 for adults and kids. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling the Ticket Office.