Poetry Slam to Compete in Louder Than a Bomb

By Mara Shapiro

The Poetry Slam team, Tribe Called West, will be competing in the annual Louder Than a Bomb competition Friday, Feb. 24 at Columbia College  and Saturday, March 3 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Around 70 schools in the state participate. There are four individual rounds and one group round. Five judges determine the winners and scoring is out of 40 points. All poems are original compositions.

English teacher and coach Paul Bellwoar says preparing requires patience.

“We like to use a lot of patience. We started in September. Our most recent piece was [composed] three weeks ago,” Bellwoar says.

Junior Mike Gonzales thinks that students and staff should support the team.

“It’s entertaining… it’s intense, everyone gets into it,” Gonzales says.

Senior Sam Chao feels that the team has a good chance of winning.

“We have a very strong line up. We’ll see what happens,” Chao says.

The team won second place in both of their bouts last year. This year, competitors are juniors Mike Gonzales, Athena Hilentzaris, Fil Sguros, and Cody Inglesby, and seniors Sam Chao and Sally Nahhas.

“[Poetry Slam] is one of the extra-curriculars that incorporates theatre, literature, and poetry. [Overall,we want to] have fun,” Bellwoar says.