Poets compete at local level


Alyssa Boos

Kelsea Rodriguez is seen performing her poem at SHS. Her poem on police brutality and gun violence won her 1st place at the competition held on January 9th.

On January 9th, 2020 three students walked on the stage in the Seaman High School auditorium and performed written poetry about a variety of topics including eating disorders, gun violence, police brutality, and the American school system, to name a few. The winner will go to regionals on January 25 in Olathe, Kansas. 

Alyssa Boos and Timothy Collins worked on making the competition for Poetry Out Loud real. They set up the date for the competition and Boos made the posters that were hung up around the school as well as recruiting the participants.

Third place was sophomore Alyssa Boos with her original written piece about the American education system. Boos tackled subjects like dress coding, school shootings, self-harm, favoritism for sports in schools, and competition among students for good grades. 

Boos said she was “happy for the opportunity to learn about slam poetry,” and “extremely happy for Kelsea because as soon as I read her piece I just wanted her to read it out loud as soon as possible.” 

In second place was sophomore Bailey Alt with a forensics piece called, Fat by Caroline Rothstein. In this performance Alt tackled the deep issues of  eating disorders and learning to love yourself. Alt explained that the point of view was from “a 22-year-old woman who has an eating disorder and how she realized it has taken her 22 years to figure out she was not fat.” With background experience with forensics Alt took to the stage like a champ, feeling in her element. 

When asked about the competition, she said, “I felt like it was a friendly competition with peers who were all capable of affecting people with their poetry. I knew I wouldn’t get first place because I didn’t create my work, but it also didn’t have the connection to the subject like Kelsea’s did.” 

The first place winner, senior Kelsea Rodriguez was nervous when she took the stage, but with her knowledge on the subject, she also felt empowered. Rodriguez wrote her own piece entitled 12th Street which focused on police brutality and gun violence. Rodrigeuz explained that she used to live on 12th Street in Kansas City and her poem explains how gun violence has affected her, especially after seeing one of her friends murdered. In 12th Street Rodriguez included powerful lines like “the bloodstain lasted on that sidewalk two times longer than his life did” and “it must be nice to feel so safe that you have to invent new ways to put yourself in danger.” To see the full poem, visit the Raðljóst online at https://shsradljost.wixsite.com/magazine/works. As the winner of the Poetry Out Loud competition Rodriguez will join the sponsor Mr.Collins in Olathe on January 25 to compete in regionals. 

The judges Timothy Collins and Andrea Marshbank had positive comments about all contestants.  

Marshbank said “All of the participants were all more excellent and strong and surprised me.”

 Boos was congratulated for projecting her voice while Alt was complimented on her emotion. However, Rodriguez’s connection with her subject is what earned her the win.