Kremmling Library Poetry Slam a hit
April 20, 2008
West Grand High School teens wrote and performed poems at a “Poetry Slam” Saturday at the Kremmling Library.
“When you write about an emotion, or even a mental struggle, you release it and you no longer own it,” said Cathy Jones, Kremmling youth services librarian.
Maria Dominguez, 16, won first place for her poem, “Revenge.”
“I was very nervous,” said the daughter of Rafael and Juana Dominguez of Kremmling. “I get really tensed-up when I get nervous, ,(but) I felt really comfortable because I knew everyone.”
She wrote about a kid who gets bullied when he’s young.
“He has hatred, and he kind of lets it out when he’s older ” it just ruins his life,” she said.
She ended her poem with this message: “Stay in school, don’t be a fool. Don’t hate, appreciate. Live life to the fullest, to the last minute. Don’t end up like my homeboi, locked up for life, for a simple revenge he had since he was nine.”
A native of Los Angeles Calif., Dominguez has also lived in Denver and Mexico. Her Hispanic background helped her write the poem, she said.
“I have a lot of family members, friends that kind of like get bullied up for their ethnicity,” she said. “(The poem) doesn’t really teach anything. Probably that (racism) is a problem.”
Jan Broadhurst, a substitute library clerk, was a judge.
“I was blown away by the poems,” she said, adding that they all “came from the gut.”
Bradie G. Malonson, 16, brought a binder containing 25 poems to the “Slam,” and read three.
One of her poems was titled, “To You.”
“I feel like every breath and thought, you’re everything I’m not,” she read. “I want to kiss you in every spot and be yours and be mine and be like forever ” a moment in time.
“I want to feel your breath on my skin and your lips on mine … I shall never forget when you called me yours and I called you mine. But now all you bring me is tears.”
She started writing poems when she was in sixth grade.
“It’s just a way to release feeling and emotions and get everything out,” said the daughter of Devon Malonson of Kremmling.
She earned second place.
Alyssa C. Wall, 16, was awarded third place for her poem, “Spring.”
She originally signed up to be a judge, but decided to participate in the competition right before the “Slam” and wrote her poem in 10 minutes.
Although she chose not to perform that day, Jones said the poem was “beautiful.”
Wall started writing poems in third grade, “because it gets what’s on the inside out,” said the daughter of Ted and Jana Wall of Kremmling.
She writes many poems, but instead of sharing them, she usually burns them, Wall said.
Tyrel S. Canon, 17, also judged the “Slam.”
“I liked them all,” said the son of Bridget and Kevin Canon of Kremmling. “I’m not so big with the whole writing thing. I like listening to (poems).”
Jones kicked off the contest with a poem she wrote called “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, But I Tried, and I Tried and I Tried.”
She was pleased with the turnout.
“I would have been satisfied with one person coming,” she said. “It was just really fun to see people participating.”
She said the poetry is for older kids and that she would like to hold the poetry reading twice a year. She wants more people to get involved, and even create a poetry event for adults.
Jones got the idea for the “Slam” at library seminars she attended. April also is Poetry and National Library months, she said.
A poetry slam is similar to an open-mic reading, but is engineered more for an audience. Judges rated the poems on a scale from one to 10 based on the poem’s content and the performance. Audience members were encouraged to boo or cheer according to whether they agreed or disagreed with the judge.