NSU Poetry Slam features famous poet Neil Hilborn
TNE Editor

NSU Poetry Slam features famous poet Neil Hilborn

Published 4/13/18

Sydney Russell

TNE Writer

The Northeastern Activities Board offers a variety of entertainment to NSU students including concerts, tailgates, half-time contests, road trips, movie nights and more.

NAB’s mission statement says. “The mission of the Northeastern Activities Board is to enhance the college experience by opening the door of opportunity to get involved on campus through student activities and entertainment. NAB plans and produces a wide variety of special programs and events for students by students allowing for hands on experience, working with diverse groups of people, expanding creative horizons, challenging life knowledge and leadership skills development.”

“NAB brings entertainment to the university to provide a stress free and fun environment for the students,” said Katrin McGriff, NAB entertainment committee chair. “NAB recognizes how important it is to include all students in all the events we put on.”

NAB has invited Neil Hilborn, American slam poet, to perform at NSU. Hilborn often bases his poems on his personal experiences with mental illness. At age 11, he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college.

“Neil inspires creativity and acceptance,” Courtney Helm, NSU alumni. “As someone who was active in the writing club at NSU, it would have been so incredible to have someone as creative at Neil visit NSU. College should be a place for people to be inspired and be creative, and having authors, poets and artists is a part of that. I think it's an important message to send that you can touch others through your anxiety and depression and experiences with them. It's been a few years since I first heard Neil's OCD poem and it still touches me to this day.”

Hilborn's reading of his poem "OCD" at the 2013 Rustbelt poetry slam has received nearly 14 million views on YouTube. This poem expresses the reality of being in a relationship while coping with OCD.

“He’s relatable, approachable and he’s like a math problem you can’t quite figure out, but so desperately want to,” said Alyson Hohrman, Vian junior. “His “OCD” poem was heard worldwide. Even if you don’t know his name, you know that poem. He laid bare and expressed vulnerability that you can’t help but relate to.”

With a degree in creative writing and honors from Macalester College, Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam champion. Hilborn has authored two books “Clatter” and Our Numbered Days”.

Hilborn co-coached the Macalester Poetry Slam team to a second-place finish at the National Championship. He was also a member of the Minneapolis adult National Poetry Slam team that placed 5th out of 80 teams across the country.

Hilborn is the co-founder of the literary magazine, Thistle. He also facilitates writing workshops for high school and college students and is a TED talk speaker.

“I love Hilborn’s poetry because it's not all rhyming or reading,” said Elizabeth Mason, Coweta senior. “It's full of emotion, relatable, quotable and it's closer to storytelling than old school poetry. It is similar to an old Viking reading an epic tale to a bunch of people around a fire.”

Hilborn will be performing at 7 p.m., April 17 in Second Century Square.

For more information, call the NAB office at 918-444-2526.

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