In a high school auditorium, dark but packed with teens, the young poets walked up on stage and into the spotlight, and unflinchingly bared a bit of their soul.
Their offerings ranged from touching to hilarious, and the audience rewarded their efforts.
Westview’s second poetry slam expanded this year, and included writers from Thomas Haney, Maple Ridge and Samuel Robertson – 27 poems in all. The writers were from Grades 8 to 12.
Hannah Eby was one of the emcees of the slam with Elia Matour., and was also a participant who won an honourable mention. A sample of her work:
“Because life has made a few things clear, in every single person, we have to fight for what we hold dear. Because the sun does not refuse to shine, after a single night of rain, and the tide of an ocean does not give up, trying to kiss the shores again.”
Sharmaine Ventura got a rock star ovation for her hilarious poem “Beyonce.”
Forward, I fall
Into the depths of dat hair
Hypnotized by that bootylicious stare
The warning signs were evident
More power than the goddamn goddamn president
The audience loved it, and she won for Most Entertaining poem.
In “A Promise for the Infinite Now,” Alicia Neptune said:
This may be the age of communication
But the causation for the cessation of all creation
Is not communication
From living in a world needing salvation.
And our elation comes from flirtation
And our fixation with love
Not the formation of relationships
She won the Poetry Hero award, for top overall score.
Top Wordsmith went to Jaimee Bauer who showed a flair for figurative language, and Most Powerful was awarded to Jean-Luc Pereira for “A Perennial Parade.”
“These students have an amazing talent for spoken-word poetry,” said organizer Pam Preibisch, the English department head at Westview.
“Poetry slams provide students with an opportunity to showcase their talent, have their voices heard, and celebrate personal expression. The poems shared were witty, entertaining, soulful, and compelling. They offered a glimpse at these students’ experiences and were a poignant reminder of the power of words.”
Preibisch said she will continue to promote the poetry slam as an annual event.