Poetry slam judges evaluate diverse and entertaining sophomore poets

Students, Staff and Community Members Evaluate Student Poets at East’s Annual Poetry Slam

Roan Murray , Staff Writer

On Friday, February 7th, a panel of judges consisting of two community members, two students and three teachers, judged and selected winners for East’s school-wide annual sophomore English poetry slam.

In assessing the performances, each judge is given an evaluation sheet with the names of all the poets on it, and a space that allows them to select a rating for a given poem, to measure the way students use poetic devices.  There is additional space for comments.

“They all did a great job. They had a lot of passion. The topics were really nice, varied, and contained a lot of different messages that kids were getting across,” said judge Barb Noote. A veteran judge for this event, Noote notes she always brings a box of tissues.

Over the course of the performance, judges took notes and evaluated poems.  In the end the judges conversed and selected a winner.

“Yes, it’s absolutely [fun to judge]. I liked that it’s not my opinion, but based off of how well they seemed to like their topic,” said Meredith Hunt, one of the student judges.

When all the poets had finished reading, after a couple of minutes of deliberation, the results were decided. Third place winner of the 2019 East Campus poetry slam was Justin Thorne. Second was Josiah Rivera. The winner was Caleb Schopen with his poem, Unplugged.  

According to the judges, Schopen’s poem was engaging and energetic. Spectators were engaged by his open body language and audience interaction. Schopen’s tone was assured as well, and his confidence was noted by the judges.

The flood of compliments directed at the poets after the event, suggest that the 2019 Poetry Slam was another success.