The Young Aspiring Writers with Power (YAWP) competed at the annual Tri-City poetry slam competition on March 21. This year, the competition was hosted by Alhambra High School and took place in their auditorium. The poets kicked off National Poetry Day by going up against Alhambra and Mark Keppel High School.
YAWP went in to defend their trophy but were left astounded by the end result. They finished in second place, with Mark Keppel placing first.
“I know we could’ve done much better and won this year if we were better prepared, but I think that it wasn’t about winning,” senior Tabatha Perez said.
This year, the team ran a bit behind schedule due to miscalculations of time. Rather than put a focus on winning, their main concern was to slam through each of their poems to the best of their ability.
“I’m proud of the result because we pulled it together three days before, and the way we performed is something I can put pride in,” Perez said.
Performing a clean and strong set is not a one person job. As a team, the students came together to help each other whether it involves editing or performing.
“Working with my team helped me really make [my] poem better,” senior Patricia Lipana said. “They helped me cut off parts I didn’t need and I feel that I really own it.”
Some did not come for the competition, but instead to listen to poetry.
“It was pretty cool hearing other people’s stories and thoughts,” senior Bruce Hernandez said. “I really love how people express themselves in ways that others are afraid of.”
Others, like senior Alina Hurtado, came out despite not making it on the team originally. They even took it a step further as far as showing support.
“I made posters for all of my friends that performed and I made them all different so it wasn’t the same sign for everybody,” Hurtado said. “I even drew little images that kind of reminded me of [them].”
Although several San Gabriel students came to rally in their enthusiasm, the same could not be said for the rest of the audience.
“I think it was different from any performance/competition we’ve done,” Perez said. “The atmosphere was a lot closer and intimate and the audience wasn’t as responsive.”
Overall, the students are accepting of the final result, but do not see it as the end. The YAWP team is working hard to surpass Semi-Finals in the Get Lit Classic Slam on April 29.