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The Red 'n' Green

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The Red 'n' Green

The Student News Site of Berlin High School

The Red 'n' Green

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Wordsmiths holds 9th annual Poetry Slam

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Andrew Reise
The four student contestants hold their awards. Junior Andrew Rozek placed first with his two poems entitled “Fastidious” and “Beetles”. Junior Arianna McCormick placed second with her two poems “Mold” and “Leaves”. (L-R: sophomore Emelia Beulen, junior Arianna McCormick, junior Andrew Rozek, senior Violet Daubner.)

Junior Andrew Rozek took first place and junior Arianna McCormick took second at the 9th annual Poetry Slam on Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. English teacher Andrew Reise has been in charge of this event every year, and usually appears as a guest presenter. There were five poets in total, four students and one teacher.

“This is about the norm for us. We have run the contest with a few as four, and have had as many as 14,” Reise said. “There are a lot of factors that influence how many entries we get. One is the fear factor. We have got a lot of secret poets out there, but many are hesitant to share their poems in public.”

Rozek, the winner of this year’s poetry slam, presented his poems “Fastidious” and “Beetles.” Rozek said he likes to leave the meaning of his poem’s up to the listener’s interpretation.

It’s always a little nerve-wracking to get on stage at first, but after I get into my poems, I feel more confident. I similarly felt good after sharing them,” Rozek said.

Agriculture teacher Melissa Miller presented her poem “The Farmer Reflects”. Her poem is focused around what a farmer does in their day to day life. She presented her poem as a guest speaker to officially transition into the start of the Poetry Slam.

“It’s a nice place to express things that interest you and the best part is you can be as serious or funny as you want,” Miller said.

The poems are judged by three to five volunteer audience members. Each judge is given a score sheet with four categories: physical presence, voice and articulation, message/theme, and whether it sounds like poetry. 

“They do not need to be poetry experts. They just need to be able to listen objectively and ask themselves two big questions: Did it sound like poetry? Did the poem make me feel, think, or react?” Reise said.

Most people who participate in the Poetry Slam recommend it to others as a good place to start to present your work.

I would recommend anyone who is interested to join the Poetry Slam,” Rozek said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to share your writing with the community, and I find it to be a very fun and enjoyable experience.”

 

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About the Contributor
Greyson Blaauw, Business Manager
Greyson Blaauw is a Berlin High School junior. He enjoys writing for the Red ‘n’ Green, and is excited to spend his last two years of high school reporting. He loves Pokémon and participating in the yearly musical.