Poetry is never created or performed alone

De La Salle poets participate in Louder Than a Bomb

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Poetry is never created or performed alone

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By: Milani Jones

“Little Red Riding Hood” by Kari Quintana

sounds of a wolf whistle

“Originated from wolf-whistling, I like the word “wolf-whistling” because you can call the wolf-whistler “The Wolf”to make him fiction, to make him as storybook as possible,

something to make you believe that the wolf whistler is nothing more than an antagonist in your story about wearing red and walking home.

Make a brick house out of your body. He will never blow it down no matter how big and mighty the wolf whistle might be. The girls who carry themselves like straw will let the wolves’ whistles eat away at them. The girls who carry themselves like sticks will act like they didn’t hear you, but still know what you said.

We are not the three little pigs that hide in them; our bodies are houses that can handle all this woman. No one comes running for girls who live in the city and cry wolf.

That is not the wolves we are talking about.”

De La Salle’s Creative Writing Club is proud to announce that ten poets will participate in the 2018 Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry competition at Columbia College on February 24 and March 1.  Louder Than a Bomb is the largest youth poetry festival in the world and takes place in Chicago every year.  Students compete over the course of five weeks.

“To enter creative writing, you must volunteer, sign up, and work on your poem. For Louder Than a Bomb, you have to be in high school and on a team of up to 10 people, and only 8 perform, including 4 individual poems,” Creative Writing Club Moderator Justin Costello-Stebelton said. “This is the second year we’ve had a full team in the competition, but there were a few individual participants prior, such as Kari Quintana and Gerald LeFrere.”

For this year’s competition, the theme is Do the Write Thing, inspired from Spike Lee’s 1989 comedy-drama film. Poets competing this year include seniors Gerard LeFrere, Kari Quintana, Cameron White, Emily Fritz, Travis Armstead, Byron Perkins, and Reeanna Nyden, and juniors Aolani Cano and Kaia Powell.

“My favorite piece that I have written for LTAB is ‘Little Red Riding Hood’”, Quintana said. “This poem was about being a girl in Chicago and how it feels to be subjected to cat calling, but for this poem, I preferred the term wolf-whistling. It is about a girl in Chicago who gets unwanted attention from “wolves” in the city. It touches on issues of harassment, slut shaming, and safety of women. Writing a piece is starting with something that you care about. It can be personal which helps with authenticity,” Quintana said.

Co-moderators Mr. Costello-Stebelton and Mr. Jones coach the poets throughout the entire process. Many of the poems have themes or a twist to original stories. LTAB members also help each other revise poems and give feedback. This helps each poet improve as he or she writes and performs.

“Adding pauses and tones of voice are the last parts of finishing a piece,” Quintana said. “The process is pretty fun because it’s something that comes from you, and you can change it and  rearrange it as much as you want. Free verse poetry is freedom in a poem. They [moderators] help me a lot with phrasing and the use of voice and tone in my poems,” Quintana said.

Louder Than a Bomb has been funded since 2001 by poets Kevin Coval and Anna West. It is sponsored by an organization called Young Chicago Authors.