Students participate in local poetry slam


Emily Ward

Senior Ambar Marin and freshmen Meghann Blake, Zyanya Fuentes and Paola Rivas stand with English teacher and poetry coach Ron Baer after their participation in the Get Lit Poetry Slam.

Meghann Blake

As they rode the subway to Classic Slam,  Senior Ambar Marin and freshmen Zyanya Fuentes, Paola Rivas and Meghann Blake nervously practiced their poems.

Classic Slam is a poetry competition produced by Get Lit! Words Ignite. Get Lit!’s main focus is increasing teen literacy in Los Angeles.

This year was the fourth annual Classic Slam. Quarterfinals and semifinals took place at the Los Angeles Theatre Center on April 30 and May 1. Finals took place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on May 2.

There are three rounds of Classic Slam, the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Students choose a classic piece written by poets ranging from Maya Angelou to William Shakespeare. The students  then write a response to the poem based on what they felt when they read it.

There are 40 teams that compete over the course of two days, 20 teams each day. On the third day, those who have made it through prior rounds compete in the Finals.

Many schools, such as Cleveland High School, have auditions to be on their teams for Classic Slam.

English teacher and team coach Ron Baer selected the school’s four team members. After a semester of practicing, memorizing, and performing, the students participating eventually perfected their poems.

Their first year at Classic Slam, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School was eliminated after quarterfinals. Fuentes and Rivas scored 7’s and 8’s. Marin scored 8’s and 9’s, Blake scored 8’s 9’s and a 10.