South students shared, laughed and cried over poems performed at the Day-Before-Valentine’s Day poetry slam and open mic

Isabella Craparotta '19, Staff Writer

The Day-Before-Valentine’s day poetry slam and open mic brought out the lovestruck and broken hearts of students and audience members before the holiday.

Many students attended the poetry slam and open mic on Tuesday February 13, 2018. The open mic allowed any audience member to share a poem of their choice. Following open mic were two rounds of slam. Slam is an open competition where students compete against one another with a three minute poem of their choice. The poems are judged by random audience members rating from 1(worst)-10(best) according to Preston Riegel ’18.

Martha Dawson ’20 shared two poems throughout the night.

“My poem is called ‘Announcement,’” Dawson said, “I read it last year as my drama final. It’s honestly about my own suicide attempt.”

Students like Dawson shared personal poems about their lives. According to Dawson, she was a little overwhelmed after sharing her poem.

“I’ve shared it with a lot of adults but to share it around a lot of my own peers is surreal,” Dawson said, “especially because the gi

South poetry students gather before performing at the open mic and slam

rl who did save my life in that situation is standing here watching tonight.”

According to Aiyana Villanueva ’21 and Nick VandenBrink ’21, they enjoyed moving poems like Dawson’s.

“My favorite was Kerrigan Dunham’s because it was very emotional. It was about a girl that he likes and how he didn’t know how to tell her.” VandenBrink said.

According to VandenBrink, the satire of the Valentine’s day theme brought audience members like VandenBrink to tears of laughter.

“I used to think that love poems were cheesy, but they’re just misinterpreted,” Riegel said.

Riegel said, that he thinks sharing poems about love and other topics allow people to feel and write about the purest form of a chemical imbalance without the negative substitutes of drugs and depressional imbalances.

“The reason people write poetry in the first place is that a lot of times, they are in hard situations that don’t allow them to fit in or express themselves.” Riegel said, “So when you create a group of people that don’t fit in, they all fit.”

According to Riegel, he believes that writing about positive feelings is key to happiness and poetry allows people to do so.

“Love is the purest form of a chemical imbalance so why wouldn’t you write something that’s the purest, realest form of those chemicals you can get,” Riegel said.

Sharing poems to a group of people helps express yourself to an audience and share an important message, Riegel said.

“I liked seeing what the audience thought about the poems and how the judges would score each person,” Villanueva said.

The slam brought the excitement of the night, according to Villanueva, it allowed audience members to engage in the fun and share their own opinion.

Villanueva and VandenBrink liked Dunham’s poem which won second overall in the slam.

In the end, LaShun O’Rear took first place. His poem was inspired by allowing people to come out about their own sexuality. His poem won over the audience and judges.

“Honestly poetry has taught me so much about how to open up about myself,” Dawson ’20 said. “I suggest poetry to anyone who struggles to express themselves because just the use of words can help with so many different aspects of your life.”