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The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Winning With Words

Slam Poetry Team Receives Recognition
Mikayla Rogers (27), Samantha Thiellen (27), Caroline Mix (25), Story Keffer (26) and Devin Rogers (25) are all members of the GHS Slam Poetry Club. The group has done well at recent competition. Photo submitted by Slam Poetry Club

Slam Poetry is one of the strongest versions of poetry because it gets people to stop and listen. It is designed to be short and sweet, so writers get their message across quickly. Dr. Chelsea Krebs, who is in charge of Slam Poetry views poetry as a way to communicate feelings and emotions in front of an audience.

“Sometimes when people think of poetry they think of flowery, rhyming stanzas, but poetry can be about anything you’d like,” Krebs said. “Our poets write about their own personal experiences, both beautiful and challenging; they write about standards, relationships, family, and just the world around them. Slam poetry is always meant to be heard. So when these poets memorize their poems and stand up on stage to present them to the world, they are a force to be reckoned with.”

The Slam Poetry group is active in competitions. Each year they participate in semifinals, districts, and many other competitions, or, in poetry language, bouts. This group has been working hard on their poems and performing skills since early October.

In a competition, there are five rounds in each bout. Each performer will gives their poem in front of five random judges. The judges will then score the poet zero to 10. In each bout there is a preliminary, semifinals, and championship bout. On April 4, the team took first place in a competition and beat Omaha Central, a poetry powerhouse, in an event at the Benson Theatre.

“I love being able to creatively express myself without any fear of judgment,” junior Devin Rogers said. “I also feel like it’s a great opportunity to meet other writers and expand your own knowledge. If you like writing and you want to meet similar people you should definitely join. Also, if you like performing it’s a great chance to really give a performance in front of judges and other peers.”

Though poetry can be a way to improve writing and performance skills, it can also be an outlet to let out anger, express your feelings, and grow. Poetry is a powerful tool for coping with loneliness, anxiety, and many other human emotions that aren’t easily expressed out loud. Many poets turn to poetry in situations of sadness, happiness , and much more. Freshman Sam Thiellen explained that her best poem comes from her real life struggles and fears.

“My best poem I wrote is called ‘No Longer Sugar Coated,’ and it’s about myself feeling like I’m always a problem and will list, like, body image, my mom, boys, my family life, my dad, the way I act, and then, at the end, it’s like a realization that maybe I’m not the problem,” Thiellen said. “I like it because it speaks to my soul. It’s my life in a nutshell. It’s open and raw and vulnerable and 100% me.”

Poetry can be a great way to spill emotions and feelings everyone has, but it can also be an outlet for happiness, joy, and fun. Poetry gives writers the pleasure of sound, rhyming and the ability of imagination and expression.

“My favorite thing about it is watching other peoples’ poems and getting to relate to them. I also like listening to their poems and not relating to them, but getting to hear their words anyway,” junior Caroline Mix said. “My best poem is called ‘Fireboy and Watergirl.’ It’s about how Fireboy is mean and harsh, and Watergirl is soft and gentle. It’s about how Fireboy doesn’t like Watergirl, even though they used to go on adventures together. I like it a lot because it’s based on me and my brother and the game Fireboy and Watergirl, which we used to play together. My brother, like Fireboy, has red hair, and I, like Watergirl, have very long hair. We used to play that game together, but as we got older, he stopped liking me at all. I really like it because of how perfectly fitting it is with us.”

Through the development of poetry, people have used this prevalent art form for expression, pleasure and much more. This group is gradually paving the way for voices to be heard through poetry.

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About the Contributor
Mia Yungtum
Mia Yungtum, Reporter
Mia Yungtum is a junior at Gretna High School and it is her second year in the journalism program. She serves as photographer and writer. She is involved in journalism because she likes to write and it is fun to be able to write about things going on in school. Her favorite things to write about are the arts and sports news. Outside of school she participates in golf, tennis, show choir and many others activities.

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