Neil Hilborn set to perform at MNSU

Tonight slam poet Neil Hilborn will be performing in Ostrander Auditorium at Minnesota State University, Mankato at 8 p.m. Hilborn has poetry collections, “Our Numbered Days”, “The Future” and “Small Wings in a Small World”. Before his reading, there will be an open mic and following the event Hilborn’s books will be available for purchase. 

Atlas James, a freshman at MNSU, is a longtime fan of Hilborn’s work. He explained, “Well, I own both of his books. I’ve liked Hilborn’s poetry ever since I saw a video of him performing his poem ‘OCD’ live. There’s something special in each poem, but he’s able to bring them to life even more with illustrative faces and tone inflections. He also has a poem about how he’s not a cat person. He is super versatile despite being known for poems about mental illness.”

This bright personality comes through on Hilborn’s website, where it states that one time on stage he accidentally punched the microphone and broke his wedding ring, and thanks to years of therapy he did not interpret this as a sign. 

His preferred stage entrance music is ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen, during which he walks very slowly. In addition to touring and writing, he runs workshops on craft, performance, and how to apologize for ignoring texts.

“As this is my first event with the Student Events Team, I wanted to do something closer to me that I was more comfortable with easing into. I’m a Creative Writing major who specializes in poetry, so promoting and advertising the event was pretty easy for me,” James explained.

“I met with Bill Tourville, my advisor, he’s awesome and super helpful as he’s been doing this for years. We have great help on the team, and even have a team member performing at the open mic.”

The event is going to start with an open floor for students, faculty and community members to read some of their own poetry and display their talent in the Mankato area.

Hilborn will be performing an hour set of his poetry and answering questions from the audience as well.

Hilborn has over 150 million views online and has performed in eight countries and 41 states. He lives in Saint Paul and has become well-versed in the area. 

Furthermore, James elaborated, “A lot of us recognize the name from Minnesota and some of us heard from him due to his viral posts on a few social media platforms. I think a lot of us on the Students’ Event Team and the English Department here have been super excited to have Neil come and do a set for us.”

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