Poetry Slam Team Snaps at Poetry Festival

By English teacher David Fuder
Last week, Parker’s Upper School Slam Poetry Team competed in The Rooted & Radical youth poetry festival.

The team consists of senior Litzy Tafolla and sophomores Lola Yee, Annabel McIntosh, Gabriel Vilus, Uma Morris and Scarlett Koenig and is coached by me and slam alum Molly Kuhlman ’09. The team competed in two bouts at the University of Chicago and the Dusable Museum of African American History. The following was written by senior Slam Captain Litzy Tafolla ‘23:

“Rooted & Radical is one of my favorite events to participate in, and I am always eager to sign up and share my poetry with other amazing poets from around the city. As performers, we are given the opportunity to deliver our poetry with the voice and style the way our hearts wrote them. Slam poetry has always been my favorite because the physicality of the reader plays a large role in enhancing emotion and bringing the writing to life. I am so proud of how hard the Slam team prepared and embraced their pieces. From numerous revisions to memorizing their pieces, they worked hard to create work that I hope they are extremely proud of.

“The Rooted & Radical festival is a celebration of youth writing, and they do just that. Countless ‘mmms’ and snaps encouraged the Slam poets, and the crowd was just as impressed as our team is with the writing they produced. By the end of our bouts, our fingers were numb from snapping, and we took in the success of our accomplishment. As bittersweet as it will be to end our Slam season, I am still left with a smile on my face because I know that the Slam team is in the hands of incredible poets that write breathtaking poems.”

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.