Poetry team slams into Mackinac for the weekend


Dylan Schoenfield '23, Web Editor

On Friday, May 19, the poetry slam team went on a weekend trip to Mackinac Island to participate in a poetry slam competition. The slam itself will be on Saturday and poet Gabe Wagstaff ’23 is said he looked forward to the fun activities that the competition hosts.
“Our team consists of 12 poets and besides the slam and award ceremony, we’ll be doing lots of rehearsing, workshopping, eating and relaxing before the competition,” Wagstaff said.
There have been poetry slams once every couple months at the Ewald Library in Grosse Pointe Park, where anyone can attend and participate. These slams have helped the poetry slam team prepare for the competition in Mackinac by getting them used to the style of slam poetry and speaking in front of an audience.
“Going to poetry workshops and slams has been crucial to the team’s preparation,” Wagstaff said. “It’s given us a chance to get feedback from our peers and get a feel for performing our poetry.”
Poets like Brendan Downey ’23 are mainly excited for the main tourist attractions on Mackinac: fudge, shops and horse drawn carriages.
“I’ve heard that the scenery is stunning and there’s a lot of things to do around,
Downey said. “The whole team gets along really well so I’m looking forward to spending time with everyone.”
South hasn’t been able to participate in the slam on Mackinac for the last three years due to Covid. Slam coach and teacher Harry Campion said he is ready to restart the tradition of the poetry slam.
“I’m looking forward to having fun on Mackinac with the amazing team we’ve put together,” Campion said. “Our team is talented and has done well at the slams at the library, so I’m confident the outcome of the competition will work out in everyone’s favor.”
The poetry slam is judged by a panel of five judges with scores ranging from 0-10 with one decimal point. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, leaving each poem with three scores. The poets with the highest composite scores at the ends are the ones who are awarded.
“There will be 7 trophies awarded to everyone at the slam, but regardless of the results all of us will still have a fun time,” Wagstaff said.