Venice High’s fourth annual classic Poetry Slam commenced after school Feb. 7 with 11 student poets performing in the school library in collaboration with the Get Lit! and Words Ignite Poetry program.
With a strong story to share and words that ignited a room filled to capacity, junior poet Virginia Villalta, presented her life and wishes through her reading of the “Letter From My Brain to My Heart” by Rachel McKibbens and her poetic response that had people snapping their fingers.
Each student performed two poems. One was a classic and another an original written by the student poets themselves.
“I have always been inspired by seeing other people do poems and the community of poets we have here is strong,” said Villalta.
There were five teachers and a Boys and Girls club staff member judging the poets on their originality, accuracy, timing, and expression of emotion, the top performers chosen will represent Venice in the many poetry slam competitions held against other schools that are a part of the Get Lit! Program.
Senior poet Emily Johnson is back for her final year as a competitor.
“This is my form of therapy and it’s free. It’s a creative way to get my feelings and thoughts out,” she said. “It’s like writing a song, but you are saying it. To me, poetry is like written music and any way in which I can be creative and help others is what keeps me coming back,” said Johnson.
Apart from the veterans of the Poetry Slam, other poets, like senior Ernesto Gonzalez, are experiencing something new by performing for the first time.
“In ninth grade, I was given a ticket to a poetry slam and I loved poetry since then,” said Gonzalez. “I enjoy writing and I like challenging myself, so I wanted to try and make the team and go on to compete. Writing for me is therapeutic and helps me express things I want to say.”