Poetry slam gives aspiring writers chance to shine

Rachel Riley

But do not mourn for me because now I Can witness the beauty of existence. A beauty I took for granted, but now I comprehend just how much I have missed. These are just a few lines of the sonnet “A Light Too Late” written by senior Morgan Voyles, who had the opportunity to present the poem to an audience of BHS students on Feb. 10. Creative writing club sponsored the poetry slam during lunch in the West Mall, a competition allowing students of all grade levels to showcase their talents. “There are some talented people in this school that have flown under the radar, but thanks to creative writing club, they are finally getting the recognition and praise that they deserve,” Voyles said. “The world is waiting for the next Robert Frost or John Keats, and I think that the poetry slam was just the way for people to get the courage to share their poetry and prose with fellow literary lovers.” Students were invited to sign up in creative writing club sponsor Mrs. Gail Corey’s room to read a selection of poetry leading up to the event. The poem could be any length or theme, but participants were required to submit hard copies for the judging process. Of a total of 30 entries, eight winners were chosen with junior Nick Wardley in first place. Freshman Dunia Odeh, juniors Sarah Denny, Jasmine Riddle, Christopher Brown, and Georgina Shepard, and seniors Brianna Taylor and Becca Millett were also honored. “We had a great diversity of students involved,” Mrs. Corey said. “I loved this. Students were all grades and all ability levels.” Three judges—two teachers and one principal—chose the winning poems using a rubric. Four sets of judges participated throughout third period. “We judged the poems on creativity, imagery, timeless themes, and emotional connections,” Mrs. Corey said. Creative writing club hopes to host another poetry slam next year. Much like this year, all students will be welcome to enter. Though it’s not always easy, senior participant Honor Lundt believes showing others written work is a truly rewarding experience. “Sharing poetry can be an intimidating prospect for anyone, particularly in light of the fact that creative writing can be a highly personal art,” Lundt said. “Writing poetry is like bleeding on paper; sometimes it hurts, but it always has to come from somewhere deep inside of you.” Rachel Riley is the news editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.