HAFTR High School Slam Poetry took on its first Slam Poetry competition on Wednesday, March 1, sponsored by NCSY. The topic was Prayer, and participants were required to write a poem about their relationship with G-d and prayer. The competition took place at Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan. The HAFTR poetry team was accompanied by English teacher Mrs. Michelle Beach.
The first round began with all participants split up into two separate groups. Each participant read his/her poem and was critiqued by the judges. After the first round, students from all schools were invited to eat dinner and socialize. This was a great way for the HAFTR students to meet students from other schools who share similar interests. Dinner concluded with speeches from the judges, including guest speaker, Yehoshua November, who read snippets from his book of poetry, Two Worlds Exist, to the participants. Following the presentations, students whose poems were selected by judges in the first round moved on to the second round. In this round, the poets read their poems to all the participants, teachers, and judges.
At the end of Poetry Slam, ten finalists were chosen, and out of those ten finalists, five winners were chosen. In this Poetry Slam, HAFTR’s first in years, our school had three finalists, with one resulting in a win by Chani Swimmer. This was truly a great experience, in which the HAFTR Poetry Slam team would love to participate again. It’s safe to say the HAFTR Poetry Team truly slammed it!