Poempalooza: Creative writing class hosts the first PN poetry slam event


Sammy Melvin, Staff Writer

“I write a bit of slam poetry, and I like the concept because it gives you the chance to share a strong opinion or social problem you might agree or disagree with and present it so it affects others as well,” said Hannah Conklin (12) who is one of the co-founders of Poempalooza. Conklin has been in Nancy Nott’s creative writing class for two years and is very passionate about expressing her feelings through poetry. “I’ve always liked writing fiction, so I decided taking creative writing would be fun. Then after writing a lot of poetry for the class, I realized it was really fun as well,” she said. Conklin enjoys writing about her friends, high school, and anything else that pops into her head. “You can write about exactly what you’re feeling, which is one thing I really like about it and why I’m excited for this,” she said.
Poempalooza is simply a poetry reading for anyone who would like to participate in reading their original material to a small crowd of friends and family. It will be held on December 11th in the auditorium for no charge. The group will also provide snacks in the lobby during an intermission. Anyone can go on stage and read their own original work if they choose, which will end in snaps by the crowd.
Like Conklin, Kaitlynn Juarez (12) and Shoshana Grode (12) are also co-founders and have been in creative writing for two years as well. “I like how writing poetry is a way of conveying a message in a creative way,” Juarez said. “I always liked to write and English class in general, but taking creative writing last year is what got me into writing poetry.” Juarez, Grode, and a few others are working on a group piece together to share at the event revolving around stereotypes and their ethnicities. Although this event started as a slam poetry idea, people are able to read whatever they desire from their own collection of original work.
Nott created this opportunity for all and any students wanting to read their own poetry to a small audience of friends or family. “I first asked my creative writing class if they thought it was a good idea and then several students e-mailed me back saying that they were interested in helping put this together,” Nott said. She also hopes the slam will become an annual event.
Poempalooza is for anyone who would like to come and read or to simply listen to some creative writing from their fellow students. “I think people should definitely come to this because it is going to be really fun, especially for people who enjoy writing. We always fill the room with super nice people, so there will be no judgement. We encourage all people to come, not just creative writing students,” said Conklin. So come and bring your friends and family to PN’s first Poempalooza.