Three IIUM students ruled the National Poetry Slam 2022

By Haifa Farzaana

GOMBAK, 4 December 2022: Three students from the IIUM Poetry Club appeared as the finalists for Malaysian National Poetry Slam 2022: Varsity Category (MNPS) organised by Malaysian Institute for Debate & Public Speaking (MIDP).

Muhammad Dzulhamizan bin Mazfullah from Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Law (AIKOL), Haifa Farzaana binti Chek Zainon from AbdulHamid AbuSulayman Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (AHAS KIRKHS), and Fathimah binti Shamsuddin from Kulliyyah Of Engineering (KOE) made to the finals to represent the IIUM Poetry Club which was established by the Centre for Arts & Culture Sustainable Development (CiTRA).

Muhammad Dzulhamizan won the first place with one of the judges, Maclean Patrick, commented on his potential to become a poet laureate, while Haifa Farzaana as the second runner-up.

From left to right: Ryan Wong, Muhammad Dzulhamizan, Haifa Farzaana, and Fathimah binti Shamsuddin.

Muhammad Dzulhamizan explained that, “The experience throughout the competition is better than what I imagined and setting no expectations to the competition and one-self, was so amazing and incredible.”

He shared words of encouragement for those who are interested in venturing into spoken word poetry by saying that people need to be themselves as poetry is all about their emotions, and the only way they can access it is by being genuine and comfortable with themselves.

Another finalist, Fathimah Shamsuddin, stated, “I learned the importance of having fun in a competition and had I competed solely for the sake of my passion and not succumb to pressure, I would have delivered my message in poetry better.”

She encouraged future spoken word poets to participate in more competitions because she believed that, “The message you try to convey through your own voice and intonation of emotions would resonate a much bigger impact compared to page poetry.”

Muhammad Dzulhamizan is holding a trophy with Taylor’s College Campus Director, Josephine Tan.

Malaysian National Poetry Slam is a nationwide workshop and spoken word poetry competition that is open for students in primary school, secondary school, and varsity.

The competition was created to encourage youths to be passionate in poetry and improve self-expressions.

The competition began in October in Sarawak, Penang, Kelantan, Selangor, and Johor to identify top poets to represent each region in the finals that were held at the Taylor’s University, Lakeside Campus on 26 and 27 November 2022.

Haifa Farzaana is holding a trophy with one of the judges, Wani Ardy.

The competition was sponsored by Taylor’s College along with other organisations such as Wordsmiths of Kuching, What About Kuching, Georgetown Literary Festival, Malaysian Writers Society, JB Poets Society, and Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun as creative partners with Universiti Sains Malaysia and EduCity Iskandar as venue partners. 

This was the second competition organised with the first was held last year via Zoom with Marina Mahathir as one of the judges.

This year MIDP invited a professional writer, poet, and musician, Nur Syazwani Abd Rahim (Wani Ardy), co-founder of Wordsmiths of Kuching, Maclean Patrick, Arts Consultant, Pang Khee Teik, Chief Executive Officer of Ethis, Wan Dazriq Wan Zulkiflee, and account manager of MIDP Asa Zulkifly.

Poetry slam is a performing arts competition initiated by Marc Kelly Smith in Chicago in the 1980s to revive the passion in poetry at a jazz club.

The word ‘slam’ refers to the power of the audience to either praise or criticise the poet’s performance, which has a unique blend of rhymes influenced by hip-hop music as well as personal or current social issues written by the poets.***

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