Students slam poetry

The Broken Arrow Arts and Humanities Council hosted a community-wide poetry slam at the Broken Arrow Community Playhouse on Tuesday, April 21. Students were encouraged to attend and compete in the event for extra credit in their English and elective classes. Several members of the Broken Arrow community also participated and attended.

“I told my English teacher Mrs. Dyer that I would go and watch, and she asked me ‘Why not compete in the poetry slam?’ So I did,” senior Kiyree Puckett said.

The slam maxed out its list of competitors with twenty-five entrants. Several others were waitlisted because of the full list of performers. The judges quickly reduced the number of contestants from twenty-five to seven in the second round, and then to four in the third and final round.

“I loved the poetry slam so much that I want to start going every time,” sophomore Skylar DeSirey said. “I felt really inspired afterwards.”

Judges were chosen at random from the crowd; the host chose people who had no connections with any of the competitors and who only came to enjoy the show, in order to eliminate bias. Overall, the judges’ scores were based mainly on the poem itself, although a few graded the poets and their pieces in different ways.

“Personally, I graded the poetry based on the deliverance,” guest judge and sophomore Travor Brown said. “If you go on stage to stand and read off a paper then anyone can do that, but if you go on stage and you’re screaming your words and letting the poem take over your body movement, then you’ve made everyone in the room feel what you feel,” sophomore Travor Brown said.

The winning poet was Phetote, while second place was taken by Tony B. and third place by Andy Weaver.

The packed house at this event became completely silent with each performer, although several audience members rewarded the performers by snapping their fingers at the most powerful moments. The Arts Council is already working on planning the next slam event, which will take place in fall of 2015.