Within the cafeteria walls of Cooper City High School, words were spoken and hearts were touched. On Thursday, October 11, Poetry Club hosted its first poetry slam of the school year. Participants shared both original and recited pieces, specifically chosen by the speaker.
With $5 pre-sale tickets and $8 tickets to be sold at the door, the slam had a good turnout. Cafeteria seats were filled with participants, family members and friends who came to enjoy the slam. The tables were full of empty plates from the meal provided by Poetry Club to those who showed up.
The slam was the product of a collaboration between both Poetry Club and LGBT+ Club. The slam occurred on National Coming Out Day, which added to its overall meaning and message.
“LGBT+ Club has been looking forward to collaborating with other clubs for a while now,” LGBT+ Club President Amelia Wesley said. “We were really excited to make this work and I think it is the perfect combination of both of our clubs for this event.”
“This was a sensitive slam, and it was meant to be.”
Many, but not all pieces had some sort of reference towards either National Coming Out Day or other aspects of the LGBT+ community.
“Not every poem was about coming out,” Poetry Club sponsor Kevin Fair said. “It did touch on that but it also touched on some aspects of yourself and I think that is so necessary and it’s a message that so many kids have but they don’t have the means to express it. If they do express it, they express it to people who don’t really take that information in and [this event] gave them that outlet to do so.”
Poems full of emotion and personal experiences were shared from behind a podium, but it didn’t stop any of those words from reaching the audience.
“I hope it did [impact those who viewed the slam],” Fair said. “This was a sensitive slam, and it was meant to be. It is National Coming Out Day and we wanted to reflect on the difficulty of coming out.”
“[A] poetry slam is a way to show who you are with no fear.”
The poetry slam wasn’t just for the audience. Students of all grades were allowed an outlet to perform their original or chosen pieces to the crowd.
“It gives you the chance to express who you are,” junior Ali Bennet said. “It lets you see who they [participants] really are behind their makeup and face.”
Mini poetry slams are to be scheduled once a month, while the next mega slam is planned to happen next semester during the spring. Poetry Club holds meetings almost every Wednesday after school where performers can practice and share their poetry each week.
“[A] poetry slam is a way to show who you are with no fear,” Bennet said. “It accepts anyone and everyone. We all love each other and it’s just a great thing.”
Photo by Kayla Florenco