On Jan. 24, sophomore Jordyn Dees won third place at the Robert W. Saunders Jr. Public Library in the Hillsborough County District Poetry Jam.

Poetry Jam is a forum where students from across the county can compete in an expressive manner and showcase their writing through poetry. This competition emphasizes not only the poetry itself, but the performance aspect as well. Students are encouraged to write what they feel and perform it with that same emotion.

English teacher John Eric Vona and Steinbrenner’s creative writing program along with Steinbrenner’s Media Specialist Jennifer Dillon, held Poetry Café for the 2017-2018 school year in late November. Dees won first place for the school which qualified her for the county competition. Students who participate in the annual Poetry Café take an in-school field trip and read their poems in front of a panel of judges who score them. The person awarded the highest number of points is the winner, who then goes on to compete with the same poem for the county competition in January.

The winning third place poem “To the Girl Who Feels Powerless” was about speaking up and understanding the importance of having a voice in the world today.

“My poem was basically about using your voice especially in times of injustice or when you feel like it’s most important to speak up about the things that you believe in. Your voice is more important than you think it is and it’s a source of power for everybody,” said Dees.

For third place, Dees won a trophy and expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity.

“I feel really proud of myself. I wasn’t expecting to win Poetry Café so getting to win and getting third in districts was a dream come true. There is so much talent in this county when it comes to writing and I am just really thankful that the judges even consider me for that place,” said Dees.

Dees plans on participating in Poetry Café next year as well.

“This is something that I want to participate in every year. Its so cool, it’s a great opportunity, and it shows that even when you think you are not good at something, you can find something to be passionate about,” said Dees.


Lauren Johnston // Backpage Editor and Business Manager

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