KHS poetry slam rocks Radio Brewing

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Courtesy photo Trevor Haston and Haley Tucker read their pair poem during Kellogg High School’s Poetry Slam at Radio Brewing.

KELLOGG — Kellogg High School’s second Poetry Slam was another solid edition to an event that grew in popularity from the first event.

The event is the final event of the year for the KHS Creative Writing Class.

Radio Brewing once again played host to the event, but instead of the courtyard area like last year, some wild weather moved the event indoors where the unique setting really set the tone for the fun event.

“Ashley Holden, one of the owners of Radio, came up with a pretty awesome Plan B, which was to move the entire reading into their brew room,” said Kelton Enich, KHS creative writing teacher. “We were nervous that it was going to be a little too small for the crowd that we were expecting, but the overall ambiance really added to the intimacy of the event.”

A poetry slam is a venue to promote the creation and presentation of spoken-word poetry.

This is a space where authors' voices can be heard beyond social, cultural, political and economic barriers.

The nature of this art often takes the stance of making a point about something, whether that be personal or political and relies heavily on alliteration, wordplay, simile, metaphor, repetition and adding volume and speed changes to the performance to emphasize certain points.

Audiences are usually encouraged to interact with the reader during a poetry slam, everything from cheering and snapping, to being one of the judges scoring the contest, the event is fun for all who attend.

“It's a really upbeat and lively environment,” Enich said. “Poetry slams are also different in that they are judged by people from the audience. We choose three random people from the audience who give a score from 1-10 after each reader based on the overall message, clarity of performance, passion and audience reaction. The top two winners of the poetry slam won gift certificates to Radio.”

As mentioned, this style of artistry relies on quick creativity while also making a point, which is something Enich stressed to her students and they replied in kind with a very wide variety of thoughts and themes.

“We had a really diverse group of poets this year. Students wrote and performed about different topics such as body image, feminism, loss of a loved one, heartbreak and societal judgment,” Enich said. “One of the highlights was Christian Carlson’s poems entitled "Hey Google" where he talked about the lost art of listening. Another highlight was a pair poem by Haley Tucker and Trevor Haston (Tucker and Haston’s poem can be read at the end of this story).”

The event is used as a fundraiser for the class, which is used for creating a class publication for the year.

Without the support of Radio Brewing, the event may not have had a home outside the high school.

Along with hosting, the brewery also matched the donations to help the class raise more funds.

“I want to give a huge thanks to Radio Brewing for being so accommodating with the weather and location changes. Ashley was amazing and helped completely set up a new place to hold the reading,” Enich said. “They also graciously donated the prizes for the reading and even matched the monetary donations given by the audience. With their generous donation, we made almost $200 to contribute to a class publication next year.”

Buffalo Birds and Dandelion Fuzz

By Haley Tucker

and Trevor Haston

(This poem is based

off Savanna Brown’s “Loving like an Existentialist.”)

We were not carved

to fit into the molds

of this earth,

we are not anything special.

We are but mere flowers.

The thought sounds lovely,

but I promise you

it’s not

There are four hundred

thousand kinds of flowers

and some of these flowers

are more abundant than people,

which means that

being a flower is being

something that is fragile,

insignificant,

and overwhelmingly

…everywhere

We do not make a difference.

We are birds on the backs of buffalo…

We are just

decorations along for the ride.

I think this a lot,

but I also think

that if we were nothing,

the times I looked at something

like you,

my heart stopped,

wouldn’t feel like cold endless winters.

Wouldn’t feel so very much like

tectonic plates crumbling

and oceans swelling

well over their boundaries,

wouldn’t feel like

hellfire brought to earth,

wouldn't feel like

the sky is tumbling down

wouldn’t feel like

the end of the world.

Wouldn’t feel so much like

the end of a universe.

So maybe

we are not nothing,

but in fact everything.

Maybe we are the flowers,

maybe we are such

an overwhelming abundance

of beauty

because everyone deserves

their own flower.

So maybe

your flower is a Lupin

or dandelion fuzz.

Maybe

your flower isn't even a flower,

maybe

your flower is a Willow,

or a Sycamore

or even a Sequoia.

Maybe

your flower is me:

a high strung daisy.

But maybe

you never took up botany

and you don't

understand this at all.

so maybe to you

I am just a Tiger Lily

and maybe

that's okay

because maybe,

I like being a Tiger Lily.

Maybe

we are not a pigment of meant to be,

maybe

we are a figment of imagination.

Of dandelion fuzz made up

of a thousand tiny seeds,

each seed slightly different than the last

and the next,

so maybe

it really is

what's on the inside that counts.

And maybe Darwin was right

and that in vast numbers

there is variety,

or maybe

it was Hawking that had something right,

and maybe

we are all just circles

spiraling closer to combustion

or maybe

we are spirals circling closer

to the creation of a thousand stars

that look like dandelion fuzz.

So maybe when you call me

a gangling weed

you are in fact calling me

an entire galaxy.

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