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Poetry Slam features original work

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Central Alabama Performing Arts Guild held its first Poetry Slam competition on Nov. 16.

The event featured five poets presenting three original poems each. As the audience listened, a panel of judges graded the contestants on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance.

“We were not fully prepared for how good some of your work was,” Sarah Jackson, chair of the judging committee, said.

She said during one poem, all three judges were in tears.

Kay Tippett was named the winner of the adult category.

“This was close because the poetry was so different and vibe was so different, touches of humor, touches of drama,” Jackson said.

Tippett’s poem were about the intersection of innocence and accountability, teaching poetry to high schoolers and identity.

Mikayla Francis was named the winner of the young adult category. Jackson said this category was also close.

Francis’s first two poems dealt with hardships in relationships and breakups, while the third poem “Two Birds, One Stone” described bipolar disorder.

The poems were mostly of a serious nature. However, Craig Isley’s poem about having a “monster truck for Jesus” was of a humorous nature and brought laughter from the crowd.

Samantha Scott and explored themes of mental wellness, inner conflict and seeing a deceased loved one reflected in someone else in her poem.

Maeghan Jeremiah talked about finding balance, inner struggles and pain in her poems.

Tippett began writing poetry as a freshman in high school, “which I think is a common time for young girls to start writing poetry.”

“I really had no clue that I would do well at all,” Tippett said. “I feel humbled that I beat the monster truck.”

Tippett selected poems she had written that she could read “without tearing up.”

Francis began writing poetry at 10 years old.

“I’ve been going through a lot personally,” Francis said.

Francis wrote the poems read at the event over three days wanting to participate as a way to share the writings with other people, “and I got to hear some great poetry.”

Mike Schiermann of CAPAG served as emcee for the event. He commented that many creative people, particularly poets, tend to “have an inward focus” and introspection in their work.

“I think it takes a lot of courage to be a creative person and to take something you’ve created and just put it on display and say here it is,” Schiermann said.

He thanked all of the poets on behalf of the Guild for participating.

The Guild is preparing to add a literary guild for those interested in creative writing to its list of activities in January. More information is available at capaguild.org.