VIDEO: Young writers turn performers at Denny International Middle School 8th-grade Poetry Slam

It’s been a tradition at Denny International Middle School for more than a decade – the 8th-grade Poetry Slam – and more than 60 poets participated this year, reading poems to an audience at the school last night. First they heard from Denny alum Arthur Clemens, now headed for college, who didn’t get to participate in the Poetry Slam when he was an 8th grader – in 2020:

The Slam is scored, and Arthur was one of the Denny-alum panelists, along with Alex Casamalhuapa and Burk Popelka:

Some poems were collaborations – like this group’s ode to a curb, as explained in an introduction by teacher Colin Slingsby:

Others were individual work – here’s Zoe Plummer, with her poem about beauty:

Here’s Yunis Mohamed:

Parker Wahl:

The evening included guest poet Hannah Park, a Tacoma teacher, introduced by Denny principal Mary Ingraham and teacher Gillian Dockins:

Emcees were Danifah Da and Bruno Diaz Jimenez:

And in our videos, you might have heard a bit of the work of DJ Sureal:

Before the performances, attendees enjoyed dinner:

Poetry teachers not mentioned above included Elisa Yzaguirre, Andrea Chomey, Emily Neeleman, Wilma Champion, and Liz Barry. Congratulations to all the poets and educators!

3 Replies to "VIDEO: Young writers turn performers at Denny International Middle School 8th-grade Poetry Slam"

  • MWahl June 14, 2024 (2:46 pm)

    I was in awe listening to all types of
    kids speak about their internal thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Kids
    really are amazing once you give them a voice and a microphone. I laughed and
    cried through the 3 hour event.  

  • Molly June 14, 2024 (7:02 pm)

    Yunis’ poem about 🇵🇸 Palestine was amazing. I am so amazed by these kids work, and their ability to write meaningful poems. Yunis’ parents should be very proud of him.   🇵🇸 ❤️ حرروا فلسطين

  • DennyRocks June 15, 2024 (8:25 am)

    Thank you to all the teachers, volunteers and staff for organizing event. DJ Surreal was spot on. But most importantly the messages from all the poets were inspirational. Loved the variety from loss to anger to love to hope to protest to favorite things to eat and play. So proud of you Denny poets!

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