Aulama hosts an open-mic event for students on campus

Aulama hosts an open-mic event for students on campus

This semesters group of editors for Aulama.

Starr Benson vulnerably stood behind a microphone and poured her heart out as she recited her original poem titled “Native Lost,” which describes her need and longing to be one with her Hopi and Laguna Pueblo native roots. For a solid minute and a half, the audience listened to Benson as she spoke from her heart stating, “Firmly I try to knit together the existence of my blood, my inner warrior is dying, my chants are moans…”

“I have a love for poetry, especially slam poetry,” said Benson, a Chaminade senior. “I didn’t recognize that there was an audience and a movement here in Hawaii until I actually came to Chaminade. … I want to perfect my art. I want to actually create things that make a change and penetrate minds and hearts.”

Benson, a Communication major and editor for Aulama, Chaminade’s student literary magazine, was one of the many performers at the open-mic event at the Loo Center on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Former Aulama editor Nick Kurosawa, jamming on his guitar at the event. Photo credit: Jolica Domdom

Former Aulama editor and English major Nick Kurosawa, sang and serenaded the crowd with his rendition of “I’m Not the Only One,” by Sam Smith.

“When you see other people that you know performing, it should inspire,” Benson said. “I hope to create that inspiration in my friends. … I just want to be inspiring to people. Everyone has a story, everyone has a song and it would be amazing if we could all hear it.”

Every semester Aulama hosts multiple open-mic events and book launches for the Chaminade community. It is a platform for students of all majors to express themselves freely. Aulama is a class that teaches students how to produce, submit, and create an original student literary magazine compiled with work from fellow students, teachers, and faculty at Chaminade.

“All universities and colleges need a form of expressing themselves creatively, and Aulama is that form here on Chaminade campus,” said Dr. Allison Paynter, an English professor and faculty advisor for Aulama. “What makes us such a unique course is that it has a product that benefits everyone who want to submit, and that makes us really unique. Plus, each semester the composite at Chaminade changes. Students from different disciplines, as well as the English Department, get a chance to learn how to create a final product, which is our Aulama literary journal.”

The rest of the open-mic event proceeded with multiple students sharing their most-deepest thoughts and feelings through poems, short stories, and songs. Benson performed again on stage with two other original pieces titled “Authentic,” which she describes as being her true self, despite low self-esteem and self-doubt and “Love Like,” which was inspired by Shihan on Def Jam Poetry. The entire event was also broadcasted on Chaminade’s Internet radio station for those who were not able to attend the event.

Aulama is a Hawaiian term that means “to light with a torch,” which gives students the opportunity to give light to their inner most creativity. Aulama is continuing to accept poems, stories, lyrics, and artwork from anyone at Chaminade. The course is also available for all majors who are interested in becoming a published editor. For any further information regarding Aulama, please stop by Henry Hall room 206 or e-mail [email protected].