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Woodland student organizes poetry slam for classmates to share inspiring poetry

The Columbian
Published: April 15, 2023, 5:02am

WOODLAND — Lue Morgan, a senior at Woodland Public Schools’ alternative TEAM High School, organized an evening poetry slam as a way for them and their classmates to have an opportunity to share their creativity and to have their voices heard on the evening of March 1.

The poetry slam kicked off with Elizabeth “Liz” Vallaire, one of TEAM’s math and science teachers, reading a poem she had written about her own time in school. Students shared other poems, some they had written and some they selected for how they felt, such as Talia Maxwell who delivered two: one she wrote herself and “Annabelle Le” written by Edgar Allen Poe. The audience was made up of students who wanted to support their classmates during their performances.

For Morgan, creative writing provides an outlet to discuss challenging ideas through expression. “Poetry has always inspired me because it’s a way to talk about hard topics, to express yourself, and to share what you have been through,” they said. “While English language arts isn’t actually my favorite subject, it has always come pretty easy to me.”

Jillian Domingo, TEAM’s English language arts, social studies, art, and computer sciences teacher, knew Morgan would excel during their performance at the poetry slam. “Lue is one of our deep thinkers and deep feelers,” she said. “They spend their time putting together care packages for people experiencing challenges and they are prolific poetry-writers.”

Morgan first approached Domingo about putting on a poetry contest or some kind of poetry event last year. “This year, Lue came up with the idea of hosting a poetry slam and did all the planning and preparation to make it happen,” she said. “Lue shared a poem they wrote themselves which was deeply personal and they delivered it with moving emotion.”