Riverside’s Winter Spoken Word Festival is a semi-annual presentation where students in English classes have a chance to share poetry pieces in front of the school, and possibly go to the district-wide competition. Spoken word isn’t too prominent at other schools (public speaking competitions, which consist of mostly speeches, are more widespread from an elementary school level) but Riverside defies this trend. The Rapids spoken word community is extensive, and the passion shows with the many talented students who performed on December 8 and 9, 2016.

Our spoken word roots proved strong with Riverside alumni Meighan Groves as MC for the Grade 9s and 10s, and Katelyn, Riverside student. For the 11s and 12s, the MC’s were Jacob Gebrewold and Matt Loeb, Vancouver Poetry House representatives.

Although all the pieces were well written and interesting, the judges came to a conclusion of four winners, one from each grade.

The winners are:

Grade 9 student Isabella Bosse, who’s poem was titled “Equal: My experiences with racism and or/sexism today,” won first place.

Grade 9 student Addison Bellefeuille wrote a poem called “Anxiety is: what it’s like to have anxiety,” won second place.

Grade 10 student Molly Schmidt, who presented a piece called “My Definition of Life,” won first place.

Grade 10 student Raiyah Tyers presented a piece title “Love/Hate relationship with rain,” and came in second.

Grade 11 student Lauren Watson who’s poem was titled “Hair,” which was a metaphor for life, won first place.

Grade 11 student Chad Deugau won second place with his piece titled “Fighting my demons with angels.”

Grade 12 student Lexie Hawker and Meagan Roubini, who performed the first duet to ever win Spoken Word at Riverside, with their poem titled “Abusive Relationships.”

Grade 12 student Anna Relea who spoke about “Coming Out,” won second place.

Congratulations to the winners and all the participants, it was a fantastic presentation.

Feature photo courtesy of Ms. Kathy Shong