Daphne Reyes, Reporter
Poetry Slam, a great way to express your emotions and help you send out a strong message to others.
A poetry slam is a competition, in which poets read or recite original work. They are usually judged by selected members of the audience, and are typically scored on a scale of 1-10. 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
In 1985, a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith started a poetry reading series at a Chicago jazz club named “Get Me High Jazz Club” in November 1984. In 1990, the first National Poetry Slam took place in Fort Mason, San Francisco. Poetry slam included a team from Chicago, a team from San Francisco and an individual poet from New York. A poetry slam has many uses, it’s good for opening up about your feelings, it helps people listen to your voice and what you have to say.
Here at Samueli Academy, freshman students had a chance to see and experience what a poetry slam is like. All freshman students had to write poems that involved rhetorical modes, and the theme that they had to focus on was strength and perseverance. Then, students had a chance to choose any poem that was written by them that students wanted to share with the class. Students from the audience even had a chance to be judges and give the slammers a grade from 1-10. The slam took place in our English Language Arts classroom. I personally think it was a good experience, in my opinion it gave students a chance to express themselves and say what they feel or what they are afraid to say in a form of poetry. Freshman Yuliana Gonzalez said, “I think it was a good idea because you interact with your fellow students and it helps you break out of your shell.”This is in fact true, it helps with your interaction skills and it helps you feel more comfortable speaking in public. Freshman Joanna Medina said, “Of course it was a good idea! It’s a great opportunity for people to let out their feelings and to spread a message or just say something they have in their mind.” This is also true, poetry slams help people spread a message, or help them clear their mind by letting out all of their feelings.” Samueli Academy 9th Grade English Teacher, Coach said, “It was a good experience, it shares something you created it may be nerve wrecking, challenging, and awkward but at the end it brings happiness and shares ideas which to me is a good thing.”
A poetry slam has a lot of benefits for both the audience and the person reciting the poem. It gives a chance for the slammers to spill their deepest feelings or it could give them a chance to write and recite about a message they want to share with the world. “A benefit of a poetry slam is that you get to share out your feelings with other people and it gives you a chance to express yourself,”said Yuliana. Poetry slams don’t only benefit other people, but it also benefits you by helping you express yourself and all your beliefs. “It benefits you because you could express yourself, you can let out your dreams, and give out a message. For example, in the poem I said during the poetry slam, the message that was in it was to never stop believing.” Said Joanna. Marc Smith, inventor of poetry slams said, “Some people think that the slam is just competition, but the real definition is performace put together with the art of writing poetry.” Poetry Slams are not just competition, true competition could be very fun but that’s not the main purpose of a poetry slam. The purpose is to put together the art of writing poetry and performance in a way that helps people express themselves. Marc Smith would know, after all he is the one that invented Poetry Slams. “It benefits because diverse sets of ideas are heard, you get the chance to hear things in a fashion that you have never heard before whether it’s about president candidates, love family or personal issues.” Said Coach.
Slam Poetry is not as complicated as people claim it to be. When I had to write my original poems for the slam that took place at Samueli Academy, I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy it and that I wouldn’t be good at it. But after working hard to get my poems to be the best that they could, and I ended up actually liking the idea of poems. That’s just my personal experience of a poetry slam. Now, if you are interested in joining a poetry slam or even just writing a poem there are some important things to remember. Your poem should be simple and relatable, so in other words it should be able to reach your audience the first time it’s heard; it should be clear and it should convey a message. The poem should also have rhythm and passion so it helps engage your audience and doesn’t get them bored. It’s important that your tone matches with the actual message of the story. For example, let's say that the poem is about depression and you use a happy tone, it would just seem like you don’t care about that issue and that you are just simply making fun of it. It wouldn’t be a good thing and not a lot of people would want to listen to what you have to say. If you are planning on actually reciting the poem, it is important to practice! Practice makes perfect and even better you should also push yourself to memorize the poem so you could connect with the audience. If you are reading from a sheet, then you are probably losing their attention quickly. Once you think you're ready, go ahead and sign yourself up for a poetry competition!
Editor Board, 2017-2018
Editor in Chief: