Marjorie Antonio Impacts Our Community

Marjorie Antonio was always interested in poetry. So she decided to join Terpoets, UMD’s poetry, and open mic series, during her freshman year to find a creative outlet that was writing-based. 

Photo Courtesy of Marjorie Antonio 

It was at one of the first meetings where she wrote her first poem, “Fish in my Mouth” she started regularly attending meetings to improve and learn about poetry. Admittedly, she has never studied creative writing formally but she has watched and engaged in slam poetry. 

“When inspiration strikes, I often feel that poetry is my chosen art form. I can appreciate the novel or short story; however, my love is slam poetry,” said Antonio.  

In September Antonito had the chance to open for poets Aja Monet and Rudy Franciso for the Student Entertainment Events (SEE) Late Night Mic Slam poetry event.  

“When I was chosen to be a student opener I had a lot of anxiety stemming from feelings of inadequacy. But once I got on stage and performed, I felt a bit better... The space that SEE curated alongside other campus arts organizations was incredibly welcoming. UMD needs more spaces that are pure creativity. I felt the charge of inspiration, and I am sure others did too,” said Antonio.  

Photo Courtesy of Marjorie Antonio 

Since she started poetry, Antonio has gained a lot more confidence and comfort in front of an audience. At her first open mic, she remembers her hands shook so hard that she almost dropped the mic and never looked up from her phone. 

“You feel like she’s inviting you into this intimate experience with her. As she performs, I can imagine the story she’s telling, drawn into the imagery she presents,” said Kayva Kumaran, a fan of Antonio’s poetry. 

When it comes to revision, Antonio isn’t so great at it as many of her poems are one-shots, where she would write and perform within the span of a few hours and leave little time to workshop. 

“I would like to believe that my poetry is most impactful when it is at its rawest version - the unedited, rough cut - but it is often rambly, unrehearsed, which shows during open mics,” said Antonio. 

Some advice for those interested in poetry Antonito recommends is to just to start writing. 

“Write everything, if it is good or bad is subjective and can be fixed in revision, but write what feels right,” said Antonio. Photo Courtesy of Marjorie Antonio