Writers Welcome


Anne Bilse

Juniors Gilad Barach and Megan McEldowney read in the Media Center.

Creativity surrounded the air around a single mike stand, a girl gripping white papers in jittering hands. One short pause, a breath, and so she began, reading at this year’s first poetry slam.

Put on by the Writer’s Block club, slams like this past one on Nov. 19 at the Media Center occur several times throughout the school year.

“They’re meant to open the opportunity for students to read their work but also just to have fun,” said club president Chelsea Kanzler, senior.

Among the multitude of poems, the pieces presented included essays, novel excerpts, and even an original song. Though the event started off a bit hesitantly, potential volunteers hindered by hesitancy, the encouragement of MC senior Kendra Brust soon caused nearly nonstop participation.

With a turnout of some 60 kids, this slam drew students for a multitude of reasons.

Junior Melanie Rudiger often attends other poetry events in San Diego, but enjoys those put on at SDA in particular because of the sense of community. “It can be easier to share with people closer to your own age when discussing something so personal,” she said.

This unifying appreciation for the open atmosphere brought many students from different grades and different social circles together.

Senior Kelsey Payne explained that her favorite part at this slam was seeing so many underclassman involved. “I remember when I was a freshman,” she said, “and I didn’t have the nerve to raise my hand or speak in front of thinking minds.” This inspired her so much that, half way through the event, she wrote her own piece in a journal during intermission, reading it thereafter.

However, not all of those that went were writers. Juniors Brett Wilson and Jacquelyn Teza attended purely because of the inspiring energy. “I love to see my peers be courageous and share what they have to say to the world,” said Wilson. “Just listening and pondering to what everyone has to say is incredible.”

Still, many of those who did read admitted to being nervous beforehand. “I know the feeling of not wanting to be in front of a large group of people. I tend to fidget a lot to calm my nerves,” admitted Rudiger.

If anything, though, the mutual consensus seemed to stand that the poetry slams provide a perfect outlet to practice sharing out loud. “You should go to these to rock what you got and get used to presenting your work in front of an audience,” said senior Celine Parker.

Throughout the night, the audience continued to clap in support for every contributor. “Everyone genuinely wants to hear your work,” said Rudiger.

Junior Megan McEldowney agreed, saying, “The crowds are always so welcoming.”

All in all, whether wanting to read or not, senior  Josh Herz said the poetry slams are the perfect way to become involved in the core of what SDA is about. “Expressing yourself is an opportunity that I think we’re really lucky to have here,” said Herz, “and we should take advantage of that.”