Eric Devenney

(Source: Worcester Poets' Asylum)
Major Achivements & Awards:


An active participant in the Youth Poetry Scene, Eric Devenney is currently a senior at Clark University. He has participated in the Slam scene for four years since coming to Clark from Lexington High School.

An avid poet, Eric has participated in many different festivals such as Brave New Voices, the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), and he is currently a finalist for being part of the Worcester Poetry Slam Team for the National Poetry Slam tournament. Eric first got his start in the youth Poetry Slam Scene when he came to the Clark activities fair, observing Nick Davis performing poetry. Nick, a cohost of the Dirty Gerund with Alex Charalambides, was recruiting people for the poetry slam team at Clark. After meeting Alex, Eric was very quickly immersed in the Youth Slam movement, joining the scene in going to Brave New Voices and meeting poets from countries such as Guam and Canada. Eric has also been to CUPSI, in which he has competed against colleges such as Brown, Yale, and the University of Washington.

Although he currently loves a humorous style to his poetry, Eric describes his pre-college work to be more angst-ridden. Although he may sometimes feel that sort of depression, Eric continues to try to find something at least a little bit funny about a situation. Eric is also a fan of weird poetry including science fiction and fantasy genres, looking at things that shouldnít happen but do sometimes happen in real life.

The Worcester Scene in Ericís eyes is unique due to the multitude of poetry readings. Every single reading involves an audience and community where everyone is understanding, cheering, and encouraging. There are also a large number of excellent poets and a cool poetry scene. After many years of observing the aggressive style that poetry slam is known for, he became less enchanted with the style and more interested in a more subdued, honest performance.

This feeling for a more honest performance carries with Ericís affinity for a conversational type of performance. He is inspired by hearing people talk normally and embraces the conversation aspect of poetry slam.

For competitions such as Brave New Voices, there appears to be a difference in approach for many people. Some care deeply about the points and the scoring while others are more laid back in their approach and care more for the poetry and sharing of thoughts. For Eric, the experience was very humbling. While he has a very competitive spirit, he does not mind losing because of the awe inspiring work that comes with the loss.

CUPSI, the college level competition, involved many different people. The astounding part of this competition was the mixing of many different people and seeing those people graduated and becoming well known writers outside of competition.