On Thursday, May 3, seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade students participated in Payson Junior High’s Third Annual Poetry Slam. The event has become an eagerly anticipated event which allows students at Payson Junior High (PJHS) to showcase their poetic prowess and talents. This year 83 students participated in the Slam. Many contestants wrote and recited original poems for the contest while others chose to participate by reciting poems written by their favorite poets. The performance of the poems was excellent, and the entertainment value for those in attendance was high.
The Poetry Slam was organized by the Payson Junior High English Department with Leanne Hoffman and Susan Frandsen (both English teachers at PJHS) taking care of most of the preparation for the event. The Poetry Slam was judged by Wanda Jones, the school’s media specialist, Kay Smith, a UVU professor who has worked closely with the English department, and Ann Laemmlen Lewis, a local author and editor. Ten finalists were selected and awarded with Poetry Slam T-shirts, a current popular novel, and reading pillow. First, second, and third place finishers also received awards for their performances; the first place finisher received a Nook electronic reader, with second and third place receiving ipod shuffles. The finalists were certainly excited about their awards.
The following students were the Poetry Slam winners: Ammon Warnick (1st place) who presented and original poem titled, “People”; Jorie Horrocks and Hunter Penrod (2nd place) who presented and original poem titled, “Change”; Mako Watkins (3rd place) who presented and original poem titled, “I Hate Poetry”. The remainder of the top ten consisted of Brian Hedilious (4th), Jenna Wright (5th), Talyr Mortensen (6th), Michael Wood (7th), Korbin Quinn (8th), Natalie Schulse (9th), and Jacob Broadhead (10th).
Said Wanda Jones, one of the judges of the event, “I was very impressed with the quality of the performances, the number of poems written by the students themselves and how organized the whole event was. Sometimes I would get so caught up in the performance and almost forget to rate it. I only regret that we weren't able to recognize more of the students for their excellent work.”