20-year tradition continues with Spring Poetry Slam

May 7, 2022

By Adriana Rodriguez

The 20th Annual Spring Poetry Slam took place on April 14 in the media center, with 25 students and three educators sharing their writing.

Senior Isabella DiPisa, who previously participated in three LHS poetry slams, earned first place for her poem “The Tower.” 

DiPisa said in preparation for a poetry slam,  she rehearses to strengthen her presentation.

“Speaking poetry is as much of an art form as writing it, so I want to do the best I can,” DiPisa said. “I sit in my bedroom and read the poem over and over again to find the flow I want to exert when I speak it. [This] gives me enough relief to let me control my breathing while I’m up speaking.”

DiPisa said the inspiration for her poem came from The Tower tarot card, which is used for divinity purposes. She said her poem reflects the importance of building new foundations and reveals her fear of life after graduating LHS.

“The anxiety that I have felt about leaving and going to a new school next year was one of the reasons why I got The Tower in tarot readings,” DiPisa said. 

“I felt as though the poetry slam was the best place to [share my writing] because everyone knew everyone and no one was judging anyone.”

In the fall, DiPisa will be attending William Paterson University in Wayne, where she will be majoring in music studies.

DiPisa said she felt better about the future after composing her poem.

“I wasn’t trapped. It’s nice to not have that anticipated fear inside of me,” DiPisa said.  

Sophomore Rola Mustafa, who won first place at the Winter Poetry Slam, placed second with her poem “Light bulb.” 

“My poem was about loss, a bond with someone so close you consider them family. Breaking that bond hurts, but in the long run, you start to understand that maybe it was for the better,” Mustafa said.

She said she wrote her poem to separate herself from the past and have a new beginning.

Mustafa said she has been writing poetry for years and enjoyed being able to share her work with others. 

“I felt as though the poetry slam was the best place to [share my writing] because everyone knew everyone and no one was judging anyone,” Mustafa said. 

Sophomore Maya Wachlaczenko, who won second place in the Winter Poetry Slam, took home third place for her poem “Volume,” while freshmen Drew Bancroft and Shahd Heneiber received honorable mention awards for their poems “Unfinished Symphony” and “Thoughts in an empty room.”

Bancroft said his poem was inspired by his interest in music. He said the poem depicts a child who hears an incomplete composition and later creates the missing sound.

 “I decided to participate in the Spring Poetry Slam because I am intrigued by poetry,” Bancroft said. 

He said he was thrilled to attend his first LHS Poetry Slam.

“It allowed me to express my thoughts and my interest in poetry,” Bancroft said. 

He said students who like to read and write poetry should consider contributing to the next poetry slam, which will take place next school year.

“Do not be scared to share your ideas, for someone will always be able to relate to what you write,” said Bancroft.

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