Junior Alli McCaulley became a repeat winner at the annual Bellwood-Antis Poetry Slam Friday, winning the individual slam category with her poem about dealing with the negativity of others titled “An Open Letter to the People Who Laugh.”
McCaulley was one of 26 acts to perform at the annual event, which invites the student body to the high school auditorium for two periods of spoken word poetry. She won the Slam her freshman year, as well, with her poem “10 Reason I Hate My Ex-Boyfriend.”
The event began 13 years ago under the direction of former B-A teacher Diane Hubona, and for the past four years it has been organized by high school English teacher Mr. Kerry Naylor.
“The event gets bigger and better every year, with students continually stepping up their game with creative and meaningful poems,” Mr. Naylor said. “It has become a solid Bellwood-Antis tradition that the student body looks forward to, and it’s an excellent platform for our performers and writers. Today, we had the perfect mesh of talented performers and an attentive and respectful audience.”
Poems of all types are eligible for the Poetry Slam, and winners are selected in the categories of individual and duo slam poems.
In the duo category, seniors Luke Hollingshead and Revel Southwell won for their witty take on current politics with their poem “The 2016 Presidential Election.”
Along the way, many others stood out. Freshman Alivia Jacobs and Jenna Bartlett had an amazing performance of their duo poem “Freshman Year: Expectation Versus Reality,” and sophomores Sidney Patterson and Christina Hollen made a statement with their poem “Growing Up Girl.”
Many poems demonstrated the student body’s penchant for humorous poems, perhaps none more so than junior Gabby Zuiker’s poem “Fire Alarm,” which brilliantly demonstrated the power of the poetic device of onomatopoeia.
On a more serious note, senior Zane Wenner presented a poem about PTSD, while freshman Chris Kline presented “Reasons You Should Not Commit Suicide.”
Mikayla Carles and Jason Shade were this year’s emcees, proving worthy replacements for 2015 graduate Dallas Huff, who emceed the event for three years.
At the end of the show, just prior to the announcement of winners, the BluePrint recognized retiring high school English teacher Susan Zong with its annual Teacher of the Year award.