Samantha Romero, Property Manager at Downtown @700-2nd, has been involved in the poetry community for 15 years either writing it or performing her work at Poetry Slams. Poetry Slams are a type of competition where people read their poems without props, costumes, or music. After performing, they receive scores (0-10) from 5 randomly selected judges.
Albuquerque has a thriving Slam community and Samantha was looking for a way to bring this passion for poetry to her residents at Downtown @700-2nd. In her experience, many of the tenants at the complex do not have access to cultural events. “The people that we serve have difficulty attending these events due to physical, mental health, and/or financial limitations, and some simply don’t have transportation,” explains Samantha. Some of these limitations include physical or mental illness, anxiety about new situations, and difficulty being among strangers.
Samantha thought her tenants would benefit from this creative outlet, so three years ago she brought the event to them. She’s conducted writing workshops with tenants beforehand to give them insight into what poets are experiencing through their work and performances.
Poets in Albuquerque have responded to the call and our tenants seem to love it. “They were very impressed even though they didn’t know what to expect,” shares Samantha, “the fact that it is a competition makes it fun for them. And it is good to see poets share their uncensored work in a safe space.”