Poetry Slams State High

Josie Krieger , Staff Writer

Many were “encased in the moment,” as Eva Kreiser said, at the State College Slam Poetry Competition on January 14th. The State High Slam consisted of 10 students who competed in front of a panel of judges by performing a slam poem or rap. Kristina Hughes, a sophomore at State High, participated in the competition after hearing about it from Katja Krieger, one of the competitors who organised the event. “I write poems and thought why not try it? I haven’t been slamming very long, and my first time would be today. I like slam poetry because you can get really deep and emotional without the whole part of music getting in the way, even though music is really, really amazing, sometimes you miss the lyrics in a song.”

Several people who were in the crowd also felt as if they were “lifted up onto their feet”, as Kaylah Urie said. “A lot of the poets here are really energetic and I think it’s really cool that teenagers can come here and express their minds and not be judged. You don’t really get that a lot of places and I think it’s really cool that they have these kinds of opportunities,” said Elana Crown, a junior at State High. Jamie Bachman, a sophomore at State High, also enjoyed the competition, “it makes me reflect on myself and it really makes me think, in a good way.”

Although all of the poets were winners in the judge’s eyes. 3rd place was awarded to Kaylah Urie, 2nd place was awarded to Katja Krieger, and 1st place was awarded to  Smith. “[I began to write slam poetry] at the beginning of the year for my creative writing class. I really like writing the rhyme schemes afterwards, like you start with writing the poem and then you revise it. The revising part is my favorite part because you actually get to focus on what you’re saying.” Competitors’ inspiration comes from a variety of aspects of their lives. “I mean [my slam poetry is] mostly about me being sad all the time so I write about that which is kind of personal. I’m not really a comedy writer,” said Hughes. Smith had other areas in which she pulled her ideas from, “basically, I rant a lot, and whenever I feel a particularly strong rant coming on I just write everything down.”

All in all, slam poetry has taken State High by storm. The turnout at the State High Slam Poetry Competition and the quality of slam poems at the competition reflect this new sensation. Teachers and many students encourage others to begin writing their own poetry. “It’s very fun and I feel like everyone who wants to do it should do it because it’s never not fun,” said Smith.