Winners of Teen Poetry Slam at WHS Announced (Updated)
Seven Westwood High School poets engaged in verbal combat during the Teen Poetry Slam held on April 27th in the high school's Little Theater, before a packed house of students, faculty, and staff. Three of them came out on top: Corvus Brooks (grade 9), first prize; Sophie Ritz (grade 12), second prize, and Katie Tran (Grade 11), third prize.
Poets Ryan Kaplan, Elizabeth Lowney, Izzy Feinfeld and Georgia Perry also participated in the slam.
Darlande “Dee” Joseney, WHS academic specialist/coach and a veteran spoken word poet, emceed. She explained at the outset exactly how a poetry slam works, warming up the audience and encouraging them to support the spoken word poets, and calling up each poet to the mic in turn.
Judging the event were:
- Samantha Ronan, a 2006 graduate of WHS whose proudest moment in college at Villanova was meeting Irish poet Seamus Heaney;
- Katherine Stewart, the Humanities Department Chair at Westwood's Thurston Middle School, who is a lifelong reader and writer, passionate about helping young people discover their voices through writing; and
- Wilbur Edwards, Jr., a retired Massachusetts Housing Court judge whose experience includes dealing with numerous attorneys and litigants excelling in verbal dueling.
WHS librarian Theresa Fisher and English and Creative Writing teacher Kieran Moriarty planned details of the event, from a pre-slam lunch for the judges and poets, to the securing of the Little Theater and evaluation of scores between rounds.
The slam was supported in part by a grant to Westwood Poet Laureate Lynne Viti, from the Westwood Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a grant from the WHS PTO.
Thanks to Lynne Viti, Westwood Poet Laureate, for contributing this news to Westwood Minute.
Updated 4/28/2023. The date has been added for this event.