Slam poetry contest: The artistic outlet you crave

The Poetry Slam is an annual Marshfield High School tradition that’s coming up this year on April 20. Those winning first, second, and third place in the competition receive a monetary award. Considering there were less than ten entries in 2022, the odds of winning something are in a poets favor. 

In short, the MHS Poetry Slam is an artistic outlet for students to express themselves for fun–and an award. Students submit their original poem to the school ahead of time for approval, then work on memorizing and perfecting delivery. Competing in the Poetry Slam can be used as a presentation credit for many MHS English classes. There’s a mixture of all different types of poetry that is entered. Topics range for downhearted to hysterical, but many shed light on often-neglected parts of society. 

Once poems are delivered, a panel of judges cast a vote on the poem’s originality and delivery quality. Votes are tallied, and the competition winners are notified of any winnings on stage during the event. 

“My inspiration is just to expand it and get more people involved and interested in poetry,” said MHS English teacher Stephani Howe, who organizes the event. 

She recognizes that it’s her responsibility to give students who are interested in poetry a place. 

“There’s a lot of sports and clubs and this and that but I feel like poetry is a very unique type of student,” said Howe.

MHS sophomore Luke Grotzke is participating in this year’s Poetry Slam, and got his poem started with his creative writing class last year. He says this year’s poem will most likely center around school.

“Poetry is an art, especially when attuned to rhyming and assets and stuff like that,” said Grotze. “Especially in rap and music lyrics, it’s pretty much poetry.”

MHS senior Alexis Garcia Pascual competed in the Poetry Slam his junior year and plans to compete again this year. He was inspired by his friend. To him, poetry is art but also for fun.

“We were in Mrs. Warren’s class and she was talking about it and me and my friend were just like ‘we should do it,’”says Garcia Pascual. “I like feeling inspirational in the process.”

To watch the MHS Poetry Slam, please visit the auditorium at 6pm on April 20.