Students compete at seventh annual Poetry Slam

After performing her final poem at the prom assembly on April 20, senior Isabel Zacharias was crowned this year's Slampion. photo by Brittany Bonsignore.

Hundreds of students crowded into the library on April 12 and 13 to watch the seventh annual Poetry Slam.

Senior Caleb Amundson participated in the poetry slam with social injustices as his main inspiration.

“Most of my poems are about spreading awareness of the social injustices in our world,” Amundson said. “The goal is to make people more aware of things they don’t hear about everyday.”

The finalists of the Poetry Slam — Isabel Zacharias, Logan Coffman, Lauren Komer and Jake Gipple — performed during the final round on Friday to narrow the field to semifinalists Coffman and Zacharias.The semifinalists performed their poems at the prom assembly on April 20. Senior Isabel Zacharias was given the title of NW Poetry Slampion.

“I think writing is the most therapeutic form of healing there is. It offers me focus. Poetry is just cleansing,” Zacharias said.

With the title of Poetry Slampion, Zacharias has mixed feelings about the competition. Being Slampion runner-up for the past two years has made her think about why she writes poetry.

“It’s not something I think I particularly want or deserve,” Zacharias said. “Largely, the things I say are just things I need to say, just getting things off my chest. It’s the way I express myself. I just want poetry.”

Coffman, Slampion runner-up, performed his poem minutes before Zacharias. He made it clear in his poem that he did not expect, nor want, to win.

“Isabel was definitely my inspiration. She was kind of the original poet of Northwest. Even though it sounds cliché, she really does deserve it,” Coffman said.

“The Poetry Slam is a way to get kids excited . I want to emphasize the importance of poetry,” Language Arts teacher Lindsay Kincaid said. Kincaid, along with librarian Carolyn LaFever, planned the competition.

The poets were scored by audience members who were allowed to rate the poems on a 0-10 scale. The competition was broadcast live over the web for students and parents to view.

“It truly is amazing,” Zacharias said. “It’s the greatest high in the world to just stand up there and have the whole gym be silent as they listen to you perform. I think here at Northwest, we have an incredible support system for all the poets.”

Archived footage of the entire Poetry Slam can be found here.

Story by Arielle Jackson and Isabel Miller