Athlete Turned Poet – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Athlete Turned Poet

On Saturday, Sept. 6 from 8-9:30 p.m., spoken word slam poet Travis Watkins will perform in the Vandervort Room. 

Watkins, a 6-foot 4- inch, 300 pound former Division I football star, doesn’t seem to fit the image of a stereotypical spoken word poet.  However, as he’s won the coveted National College Language Association Award for poetry and has been shortlisted on the National Poetry Slam Ranking, Watkins doesn’t seem concerned with images and stereotypes.

After four years as a starter and two as team captain of the University of Kansas football team, Watkins graduated in 2005 with honors in U.S. History and African American Studies.  He won the University of Kentucky’s monthly Poetry Slam 12 times in a row before being retired and given hosting duties his senior year, when he shared the stage with Def Poetry Jam Poets Jason Carney and Helena D. Lewis.  In 2005, the scholar-athlete-turned-poet was honored with the College Language Association’s national award for poetry.

He began a meteoric rise in the world of contemporary Slam Poetry by leading his team to the semifinals at the 2006 National Poetry Slam and making it to the Individual Final Stage finishing eighth out of over 350 poets at his first official National Slam Competition.

Watkins now ranks as one of the top young poetic talents in the nation and is touring the globe as a performance poet and motivational speaker.  He encases his touching anecdotes and insightful socially conscious views into a powerful display of poetry unlike any you’ve ever seen.  You may have read poetry, you may have heard poetry, but you’ve never truly “experienced” poetry until you’ve witnessed Travis Watkins live.

Don’t miss it!