GHS Poetry Slam

Alyssa Washington, Business Editor

The second annual GHS Poetry Slam showcased some of Gaffney High’s great writers and poets. Leslie Kaczmarczyk, English teacher at GHS and Pinnacle adviser, discusses what the poetry slam is all about, the goal of the poetry slam, and what she hopes the poetry slam will bring to Gaffney High. “The Poetry Slam is a yearly contest sponsored by Gaffney High School’s Pinnacle staff. Students submit poetry to their English teachers, and then those teachers select their 5 best poems overall and submit to the Pinnacle staff for anonymous, numeric critiquing. Students with the top 20 scores make it to the final round where they read their poetry before a live audience who then vote on their favorite. The goal of the Poetry Slam is to facilitate a love of creative writing in students and to help fund  the Pinnacle, which is Gaffney High School’s yearly literary magazine. I hope that students learn that words have power, and that their words can make a difference and promote change.”

Many of the Poetry Slam contestants had various experiences, stories, situations that inspired their stories. Don’Quayus Sarratt (10th) says, “The troubles in the world inspired my poem.” Zoiah Sullivan (10th) says, “A guy told me I’d be pretty if I weren’t so weird; this inspired me to write my poem.” Joseph Mathis (9th) says, “My love for history and learning about World War I was my inspiration for my poem. Soldiers are being forgotten and knew that if I wrote the poem, I would get people’s attention and allow them to realize that these soldiers need to be remembered. Adam Fowlkes says, “I thought of the words ‘merry man’ and I just wrote the poem.” Fernando Miranda (10th) promotes  individuality and self worth. “My inspiration for the poem are for people who are too scared to say what they are and to be proud of who they are.”

When asked their favorite part about the Poetry Slam students gave great responses. Macy Gault (11th) says her favorite part was “getting to hear the poems multiple times and interpret all the different meanings of everyone’s poems.” Alyn Lopez (11th) said “getting out of class all day” was her favorite part of the Poetry Slam. Fernando Miranda (10th) discusses all the contestants: “Getting to know everyone while laughing and bonding with one another was my favorite part of the Poetry Slam.”

Congratulations to all of the contestants of the Poetry Slam! Winners are as follows:

1st – WJ Queen, “The Charlie Brown Life”

2nd – Kimberly Pallencia, “Never Shall I Forget”

3rd – Don’Quayus Sarratt, “Life Passes By”