WHS students share their prose in the 2nd Annual Capital Region Poetry Slam

Three Watervliet High School students competed in the 2nd Annual Capital Region Poetry Slam on Thursday, April 11, at the Doane Stuart School in Rensselaer.

Kharyn Acosta, a ninth grader, recited an original poem, “To My Older Brother,” while 11th graders Abdullah Hodge and Rayan Ahmed collaborated on the poem, “Constitution of the Students.”

One student reads from a piece of paper into a microphone as another student stands nearby with his hands in his pockets. Three high school students stand together with a piano, a stage and flowers in the background. The students are facing the camera. A student speaks into a microphone and reads from a piece of paper.

The Capital Region Poetry Slam was created by educators at Doane Stuart to give area students a platform to speak authentically about the hopes and challenges in their lives, and flex their creativity to address issues and subjects important to them. The event brought together a range of public and private high school students from grades 9-12 of all backgrounds for an exciting night of poetry, and an opportunity to celebrate the magic of the spoken word.

A panel of volunteer judges from Doane Stuart and other area schools, along with acclaimed poet and Doane Stuart alum David Yezzi, evaluated the poems for overall originality and performance.

Grade 9 Spoken Word/Poetry Slam

Kharyn was a finalist and captured second place with the same poem in English teacher Megan Forget’s Spoken Word/Poetry Slam, which happened earlier this year. Kharyn was among the dozens of grade 9 students who penned original poems to recite before their peers in the classroom competition. Classmates, teachers and administrators served as judges and rated the poetry presentations based on criteria including volume, articulation, tone, and eye contact.

Why,” a poem written and recited by Milo Scattareggia, earned first place in the grade 9 contest, while Anthony Morelli’s poem was voted third best by his peers.

One educator who attended the grade 9 competition summed up the experience as “not only amazing and moving, but also impressive how each student confidently read their poem in front of the class.”

A student dressed in a black jacket and knit cap holds a piece of paper and looks forward. Two educators are standing near the classroom door in the background.  A students wearing glasses and dressed in a black hoodie sweatshirt holds a piece of paper. A whiteboard is on the wall behind the student. A student dressed in a black hoodie looks down at a Chromebook in their lap. An educator is seated nearby in the background.