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Poetry Slam 2017

Courtesy of Pikabay

Courtesy of Pikabay

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The Poetry Slam is a celebration of students creativity expressed through lyrical word. It’s a way to give students another creative outlet to use their voice. It is about an art form that is often untapped, so the slam gives students a place to present their art to others. Claire Birchenough and Molly Arvesen give Westminster an incite on their first hand experience with the Poetry Slam.

The Poetry Slam started 9 years ago with Tim Gibson, the founder of Literary Rogues.  His vision was to showcase all the amazing writers WCA has, most of which nobody knows about. All students are encouraged to participate. There is a middle school round and an upper school round. Students submit original poetry a week or so before the event.  Then they perform their poem on stage in the black box for a crowd of parents, teachers, and students.

“I sponsor Literary Rogues, so the slam is our big event of the year.  It’s the culmination of all our work throughout the year. This event is all about the students, so it has nothing to do with me. I’m just the one setting up the treats for intermission. They’re the ones doing the hard work,” said Birchenough.

Students choose if they want to participate in the open or closed round of the competition. The open round is for any and all students who are interested in submitting a poem, and this division is best suited for new contestants. In the closed round, the more seasoned poets submit three original poems to be performed. They will read two, and if they are selected to be in the top three participants, they read their third and final poem, which the judges use to determine ranking.

“My favorite part is watching students gather up the courage to do something so scary and that requires them to be vulnerable in front of a crowd.  Every year I’m blown away by their strength and willingness to do something challenging but rewarding. I cry every year watching them up there, I’m like a proud mom,” explains Birchenough.

“I love doing the poetry slam because it is a night that showcases the extreme creativity and talent of the students here at WCA. I love seeing people shine who may not normally take the spotlight in other activities. There are always so many surprises, and it is fun to be a part of something like this,” declares Arvesen.

“My favorite part of the poetry slam is the students who participate in the competition because I see their personal depth, their understanding of beauty, and their incredible courage. I’m always blown away by these students and am so humbled that I have the privilege of interacting with them daily,” said Arvesen.

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Poetry Slam 2017