Wyandotte Slam Poetry Team Advances to Louder Than a Bomb Semi-Finals

March 25, 2016


Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Since the beginning of the school year, Wyandotte High School Senior Gary Bradley-Lopez has been boasting that “this will be the year” for his slam poetry team, the W. Dotte Poets. And now his team is halfway there.

On Monday, March 28, the W. Dotte Poets will compete in the semi-finals of the local Louder Than a Bomb competition. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO.

The team will face-off against four other area high school teams: Lincoln Prep, Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Olathe South.

This is the first time in Wyandotte High School history that a slam poetry team has made it to the semi-finals. And they are feeling the pressure.

“I’m scared that I’m going to let my team down,” Lopez said. “I’m scared that my nerves will get the best of me. My biggest concern is that I will get up there and forget everything.”

This is what goes on in the minds of the student poets. They have been gathering after school this week to work on their pieces. They are performing for each other, and rating the performances so they can choose the best ones. Only four of the eight students will perform their individual poetry. There also will be one group performance, with four students involved.

The students seem hesitant. They admit that rating their teammates’ poetry is not easy. There’s a saying in slam poetry that “the point is not the points, the point is the poems.” Slams are personal. These well-crafted poems reveal students’ raw emotions. That is the point. But in the end, there is a point system, because it’s a competition.

The team agrees that Monday evening’s performance will not be their last, even if they don’t advance to the finals.

“This won’t be our last time we have an opportunity to perform,” Lopez said. “We will still meet after the semi-finals. We are still going to go out to open mic nights and other events.”

After all “the point is not the points, the point is the poems.”

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242