UHV students to host poetry slam, open mic night

Members of University of Houston-Victoria Student Life are using Women’s History Month as an opportunity to host its first poetry slam and open mic night featuring performances by poet Ashlee Haze and UHV students.

The poetry slam will begin at 7 p.m. March 14 in Walker Auditorium inside UHV University North, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. At 8 p.m., the UHV Women’s Empowerment student organization will host a fashion show in the University North Multi-Purpose Room. Both events are free and open to the public.

Freddie Cantu

“This poetry reading is a fun opportunity for UHV students to showcase their talents and share some of their original work,” said Freddie Cantu, a UHV student life coordinator. “Our visiting poet has work that’s geared toward feminism, and it will be perfect for Women’s History Month. It’s going to be a great night and a new experience for many of our students.”

Haze began writing poetry at age 10, and by 15, she was performing regularly at public competitions and events. By the time she was a high school senior, her work had appeared in three national publications. She has placed and won several grand champion awards at poetry slam competitions, including being name the Queen of the South Poetry Slam grand champion in 2018, 2016 and 2014.

For Houston freshman John Ferrell, the event will be a welcome way to connect with others by sharing one of his original poems.

John Ferrell

“Poetry slams are places where poets can tell their stories,” Ferrell said. “And through those stories and words, others can begin to relate to the experiences that are shared.”

Ferrell likes to include some humor in his poems. He recently wrote about soul food and used his humor to emphasize how good the food tastes. His goal was to make people feel hungry and laugh at the same time, he said.

As the poetry slam approaches, he is writing a new poem to honor his mother. Ferrell plans to highlight the struggles she went through raising three children alone and how she pushed through the hard times.

“I really want to honor her strength and dedication,” Ferrell said. “And by doing that, I hope I can connect to other women who have had that experience or know someone who does.”

To learn more about the event, contact Cantu at 361-485-4474 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.