Students at the River were encouraged to do something they have never done: perform in a poetry slam.
Friday, Feb. 14, the Pirate Poetry Slam was held in the auditorium for the fourth time in River history. The competitors varied from those who write poetry on a daily basis to those who wrote poetry in order to participate, with the stage offering a platform for students’ voices, and the audience providing ears eager to listen.
After the first round, five out of the 11 moved on to compete with a second poem.There were three overall winners: Jordyn Collis, Alexis Theiss and Bryanna Mansi, ranked respectively. With stories personal to them, some brought the audience to tears.
“I shared such personal pieces with the audience, and when you’re that vulnerable it’s always good to see that emotion pay off and be well-received,’’ Collis said. “I was definitely surprised I won, especially because it was a last-minute decision. I think I won because I talked about things that oftentimes people are afraid to talk about, so when someone does step out of their comfort zone, it sticks out in a really powerful way.’’
By taking part in a poetry slam, participants can share a personal piece of their life and be able to work through it with others who can empathize with them.
“I write poetry whenever it comes to my mind, to be honest,” Theiss said. “I tend to write about what’s bothering me because it’s hard for me to talk about it, so I write about it instead.’’
As each piece of poetry was performed, different tones were expressed because each person expresses and performs their poetry differently.
“Since it was on Valentine’s Day, I primarily did it so I could write a poem for my mom and tell her that I said it in front of an audience,” top-five competitior Kameron Lubben said. “After she heard me say the poem and that I had performed it in front of everyone, she shed some tears. My ultimate motivation was to bring to the stage what I thought would make people laugh and find some truth in, hopefully accepting it for themselves.”