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Alhambra High School ‘Gets Lit’ with Poetry Slam

Staff Writer

On Feb. 18 and 19 in the AHS Little Theater, lights dimmed, background music faded and poets, stagehands and audience members quieted down for the Get Lit poetry slam. Lasting from 4-6 p.m., the slam featured performances by both the Alhambra Moors Poetry Society (AMPS) members and students encouraged by English teachers to attend. In Get Lit, performers each had one classic poem and one response poem. The response poems featured various insights into the poets’ personal lives, ranging from thoughts of loneliness in the midst of friends to sadness for the loss of family members.

In 2006, Get Lit was founded by Diane Luby Lane in Los Angeles and has since then expanded to many southern California high school campuses. Three years ago, AHS joined Get Lit in an effort to motivate students through poetry.

AMPS advisers Dorothy Burkhart, who has been organizing this event for three years, and Joshua Moreno, who was the master of ceremonies on both nights of Get Lit, hosted and planned this event.

“I’ve always wanted to teach creative writing, but never made enough time for it, so when the Get Lit program came around, I saw it as an opportunity to focus on poetry in my classroom,” Burkhart said.

The 2015 Slam Team, which consists of sophomore Yaneli Guajardo and juniors Tina Le and Sania Luna, will compete in the Get Lit Classic Slam on April 30 and May 1. If they meet the criteria to win, they will be eligible to compete on the Get Lit Classic Slam on May 2 as contestants for one final winner.

“What inspired me to write my piece is my relationship with my brother and how it has affected me. I love writing and getting everything out. It is sort of like a therapy for me,” Luna said.

All in all, various students took the poetry slam as a positive experience.

“I liked their response poems because [they] really [told] the [poets’ stories] and [made] me want to cheer them on,” sophomore Yuyao Li said.

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