Slam Poetry Club provides an outlet


Jenny Lu

Senior Zach Henry shares a poem by Edgar Allan Poe during Slam Poetry Club.

Madison Graves, Business Manager

Slam poetry is a competition in which poets share their work and present their opinions in a creative way. While slam poetry as a medium has spread worldwide, it only recently made its way to BVNW. President senior Chandler Kime came up with the idea to form the club after she watched “Louder Than a Bomb” in her Writer’s Workshop class.

“I’ve always been interested in poetry,” Kime said. “It’s easier for me to develop ideas and thoughts that I can’t exactly say.”

Though the club is not competition-based yet, Kime said, it might progress to that as more people join. She said it would help students interested in getting their views out, as well as give other people a new perspective on other ideas.

Senior Zach Henry, a member on the leadership board of the Slam Poetry Club, said that, like Kime, he uses poetry to express his own ideas.

“I really like to share [poetry] with other people and listen to other people’s work,” Henry said. “I think it [is] a lower pressure environment where you can get your feelings out without having to worry about judgment.”

ELA teacher and Slam Poetry Club sponsor Kimberly Hillstock said it is unique from other clubs because there is more to it than simply reading poetry, and makes students take more of a risk.

“[Slam Poetry] is a little bit of drama,” Hillstock said. “You can’t just get up there and read in a monotone voice, you have to perform it to some extent.”

Hillstock said slam poetry also adds a level of personal responsibility to a writer, forcing them to bring several qualities to the table.

“You have a responsibility to educate the audience in a way that’s interesting,” Hillstock said. “You could have the most brilliant message and portray it in a way that is not entertaining and, unfortunately, people are not going to pay attention.”

Kime said that because the school no longer has Muse, which was a literary arts magazine at BVNW for 21 years, students would need another option.

Hillstock said Slam Poetry Club is a safe place where students can have a voice on many different topics, whether it pertains to the confines of school, or addresses topics on a wider scale.

“I think kids feel very stressed in ways about their grades, where they’re going to college, and what they’re going to do after school,” Hillstock said. “They forget they can lean on each other for some of that support. My hope with Slam Poetry is…that they can develop some relationships that will get them to know someone to lean on if they need to.”

The club meets Wednesdays at 7 a.m. in room 110.