Spoken Word Poet Inspires: Heartfelt review of The Asia Project


Staff Writer

After walking in ten minutes late, I placed my backpack on the floor and took a seat in the middle row of the Jenkins Auditorium. 

The show had already started, and the artist was in the middle of telling a story. 

The atmosphere was lively and humorous, with the students nodding their heads and laughing as they related to his stories.

 “I thought that he looked like any other person when he walked on stage, but when he opened his mouth to speak, it was apparent that it was going to be an interesting performance,” said English major Catherine Thomas. 

As he finished the story leading up to his next poem, the audience fell silent and let his words sink in. 

In 2006, Asia Samson discovered that he had cancer, and he put his poetry career on hold as he went through surgery. 

He said that cancer saved his life and that he made a vow to God that if he was healed after surgery, he would no longer take life for granted.

Ever since then, Samson has toured colleges all over the United States accompanied by his brother on the guitar, and he was also awarded College Circuit Performer of the Year. 

Additionally, Samson is a HBO Def Poet and has opened for many other artists from Mos Def to Jill Scott. 

The audience was very small; roughly 25 students and staff came to the performance, according to the sign-in list provided by the members of CAB outside the double doors. 

Samson, however, expressed his love for what he did for a living and that the size of any audience did not matter to him.

One of the most impact-filled moments in the performance may have been when Samson talked about losing his sister to a brain tumor. 

A few students were unable to hold back tears, myself included, as Samson spoke in full detail about what his family went through during his sister’s surgery.

“I wasn’t expecting his poems to be that moving for me, but a lot of his poems I related to,” said Thomas. 

“The performance really spoke to me, because his poems would start out benign and funny, but end up meaning so much more,” said Thomas.

 “It was super intense. I even cried listening to some of them.”

At the end of the performance, students rushed out into the lobby after Samson to shake his hand and congratulate him on being a cancer survivor and inspiring them. 

T-shirts and CDs were also sold after the show to a majority of the audience members.

I personally have to say that Samson inspired me also on so many levels because his poems had me questioning, “What is my passion? What do I want to do with my life?” 

He inspired me to keep looking and to not give up on my dreams. 

Like Thomas, I was not expecting to walk in that auditorium and be moved the way I was. 

I can clearly see why poetry is his passion, and it’s a perfect fit too, especially if it can change lives in our generation.

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