Schaumburg High School Poetry Club Brings Creative Work to Competitions and the Community

image_pdfimage_print
The Poetry Club completes working on their poetry with Lamar Jorden and Kevin Coval during Arts Alive week.  Lamar is also a subject of the Louder Than a Bomb documentary, and Kevin is the founder of the event.

The Poetry Club completes working on their poetry with Lamar Jorden and Kevin Coval during Arts Alive week. Lamar is also a subject of the Louder Than a Bomb documentary, and Kevin is the founder of the event.

Students in Schaumburg High School’s poetry club are starting to take their creative work outside of District 211 walls and into the community. However, the group of 40 students are agreeing that it’s not competing that’s necessarily important, but the connections they are growing with their peers.

Most recently, three students competed in the West Chicago Poetry Slam to compete as individual writers, and one student won. The group is coming off of that success to prepare for its first open mic night taking place on Feb. 14 at Cup & Vine in Schaumburg, Ill., as well as other upcoming competitions.

“It started as this organic club made from students with an interest in poetry, and has evolved into a club of kids who are writing, sharing, and is the greatest anti-bullying tool we have now,” said Schaumburg High School English teacher Kelly Lagioia.  “I have students in my club who are really dealing with things outside of school and we have become this very beautiful family that comes together to share our stories. It is a way to show students that they are not alone.”

Students and members of the SHS Poetry Club Amber Frost, Jessica Watson, and Sam Sylverne competed in the West Chicago Poetry Slam. Sylverne, who won the competition, said this was a great way to challenge themselves as writers and to gain motivation to write new pieces and get ready for an event called “Louder Than a Bomb,” which is which is the largest teen poetry slam in the world and is based in Chicago.

“We did all of this together, and we will do ‘Louder Than a Bomb’ together as well,” Sam said. “It’s all about the poetry. I was nervous because it was my first judged poetry slam but when they say, ‘the point is not the points, it’s the poetry,’ they mean it. It’s true. Nobody comes to win, and if they do, they don’t belong with us.”

Students who attended the West Chicago Poetry Slam. Each of the three competitors advanced to finals, and one was named the winner.

Students who attended the West Chicago Poetry Slam. Each of the three competitors advanced to finals, and one was named the winner.

The poetry club at SHS is in its second year and has completely taken off since it started. The club has roughly 40 members, and is working on sharing and completing work before “Louder Than a Bomb.”  Both Amber and Jessica agree this group has helped them grow as writers and also create an incredible support system outside of the classroom.

“I’m in poetry club because I love to write, inspire other people and share my experiences with others that may be struggling,” Amber said. “ I’m getting a lot of help and support being in poetry club, with my writing and life in general. It gives me hope and lets me know there are people just like me going through the same things right in my school.”

Jessica agreed and emphasized the importance of poetry club in her development as a writer and in her personal life.

“Poetry club has really let me express myself creatively, and it’s made me realize that writing is such an important outlet for my feelings and experiences,” she said. “Through poetry club, I’ve also found an amazing new group of friends. I’ve found people who not only share my love of poetry, but who I can also tell anything to, and that’s so important.”