Mar 242010
Authors: Justyna Tomtas

“We travel all across the country making poems, and then we scream them at you,” said slam poet Ken Arkind to a crowd of about 200 CSU students and community members Wednesday.

The Dynamic Duo, featuring Arkind and Panama Soweto, is known as poetry’s favorite crime fighting pair. The self-proclaimed nerds often express their love for video games in their poetry while attempting to initiate social change.

Arkind and Soweto, both National Poetry Slam Champions have been traveling across the country for the past five years, performing at more than 200 universities.

Also known for their involvement in the community, the Dynamic Duo runs poetry workshops with Denver youth in juvenile detention centers as well as high schools. The team of poets said they use their engaging poetry to help instigate social change in their community.

Mixing in humor with their words and their upbeat performance style, the pair performed poems that dealt with serious social issues in a lighthearted way. The poem themes ranged from politics and racism to video games and orange unicorns.

Whether it was blowing bubbles across the stage or performing within the audience, the Dynamic Duo seemed to keep the audience’s full attention with lines like: “Robots will have sex, and we will pay to watch them. GM stock rises.”

But, between their poems and jokes –– which often compared Sarah Palin to a pit bull in a dress –– Soweto shared insights with the audience.

“The words that we use everyday have a major impact on the people around us. Remember to be kind to one another; you may be the hero in someone’s day,” Soweto said.

Arkind also encouraged the crowd to stick up for themselves.

“There’s a lot of noise in us, people tell us to turn it down, don’t,” Arkind said, his shirt reading, “I am a brave new voice.”

And McKayla Poppey, a junior liberal arts major, agreed that Arkind is truly a brave new voice.

“We need more people who will stand up in front of an audience and explain the problems in our society in a way that will make people listen,” Poppey said. “I loved their performance and hope they come back someday.”

Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at

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