Lines and stanzas, rhythm and rhyme, form and structure, diction and style; with all ways to define writing poetry, one of the defining aspects is to be able to express thoughts and feelings through words.

Media specialist Victoria Schwartz recently held the school’s Poetry Jam where students were encouraged to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it.

Students interact with guest poet Kwabena Dinizulu at Poetry Jam before performing their poems.

“The idea behind Poetry Jam is to get students interested in poetry. This was an event where not only could they create poetry, but learn about poetry, and also perform their poems,” said Schwartz.

Lasting through the majority of the school day, young poets sat in the media center and received a special treat from professional poet, Kwabena Dinizulu. Dinizulu frequently travels and performs original poetry when he can, while also appearing at events such as local venues and writing and poetry workshops.

At Poetry Jam, students were able to share their poem with the audience and to a panel of three to five judges who scored each presentation. Winning poems were then able to be submitted to the District Poetry Jam Committee, and after the final approval, the students will present their writings at the District Poetry Jam in January at the Straz Center.

“It’s really energizing performing in front of an audience. I’m not one to jump in a rap battle or anything but when I get the rare chance to speak my mind in poetic spoken word, it’s magical,” said junior Kiran Shila, who took first place at the Poetry Jam. “Although I am ecstatic, first place is more of an indicator that I am getting my message across effectively. I just think everyone has their own way of presenting ideas and it’s nice to know mine came out on top.”

Mariangely Miyares / Graphics Department

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