Tag Archives: Bishop Grandin High School

Congratulations to St. Anne – 2015 Can You Hear Me Now? Provincial Poetry Slam Champions!

Congratulations to the students and coaches of St. Anne Academic Center in Calgary, for winning the 2nd annual Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam!

St. Anne Academic Center Poetry Team - Provincial Poetry Slam Champions at Can You Hear Me Now? 2015

St. Anne Academic Center Poetry Team – Provincial Poetry Slam Champions at Can You Hear Me Now? 2015

In the finals they competed against Father Lacombe High School (Calgary), Bellerose Composite High School (St. Albert), Centennial High School (Calgary), and Lord Beaverbrook High School (Calgary) to emerge victorious. As provincial champions, St. Anne won a $250 prize donated by ATB Financial.

Congratulations, also, to the following students and teams who won $50 prizes donated by ATB Financial:

Poets’ Choice Award: Bethel Afework (Father Lacombe High School)

The Poets’ Choice Award winner was decided by poets who voted for the person they felt gave the best performances of the best poems during this year’s competition.

Best Solo Performance: Emma Williamson (St. Anne Academic Center)

The Best Solo Performance nominees were determined by looking at the solo performances that earned the highest scores from judges in each bout, and the winner was determined by coaches discussing and reaching consensus about the overall best performance.

Best Group Performance: Bishop Grandin High School

The Best Group Performance nominees were determined by looking at the group performances that earned the highest scores from judges in each bout, and the winner was determined by coaches discussing and reaching consensus about the overall best performance.

Spirit of the Slam Award: Chevy O’Dell (Lord Beaverbrook High School)

The Spirit of the Slam Award was voted on by coaches and awarded to the student who earned the most votes for demonstrating the best support for, encouragement of, and attitude towards fellow poets during the slam.

Design Award: Clarissa Noel (Lord Beaverbrook High School)

The Design Award was given to the best poster and logo design entered in the Design Competition.

Thank you to all the poets, teachers, coaches, spectators, judges, emcees, and volunteers who made this year’s Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam the best yet!

We hope to see you all back again next year!


Writers’ Workshop 1 is Done

On October 28, about 24 students and 4 coaches met at Lord Beaverbrook High School for the first in a series of workshops being offered over the course of this school year (see our Schedule for a complete list of events).

The workshop focused on giving the poets an opportunity to meet, share, collaborate, and socialize with poets from other schools. In the icebreaker activity, they produced some wonderful group performances in response to 4 different topics (1. “A no good, terrible, horrible, very bad day”; 2. “If I was a teacher”; 3. “Writing a poem is harder than . . .”; and 4. “When we were young and foolish”), and they did it in about 10 minutes (5 minutes of individual writing time to produce 4 lines of poetry and 5 minutes of collaboration time to determine reading order and/or create lines to help transitions).

We also did some work with a sharing and revising process that saw the poets read a piece of their work to a group, who recorded lines that they felt were powerful or amazing. After the group was done writing, they gave their lists of great lines to the poet and then told the poet the lines they could remember. This provided poets with helpful information about their poems. First, lines that were not mentioned were to be evaluated very carefully as the poet decided whether to keep them or cut them, or to revise them or leave them. Second, lines that were written down were viewed as lines that held promise, but should be targeted for improvement. Third, lines that were remembered and repeated from memory back to the poet were treated as miraculous gifts to humanity that should not be messed with in any way.

Meanwhile, another group of poets spent time discussing and sharing their writing processes with one another, before writing a short piece, and sharing it using the same process stated above. This group watched Erin Dingle’s performance of “Freeze Tag” and then did a timed writing exercise based on the topic: “Someone you would like to help.”

Oh, and there was also lots of snacks. Glorious, heavenly snacks!

The next writers’ workshop (November 29 at Bishop Grandin High School from 1 to 5 pm) will be a drop-in style event (you don’t have to stay for the full 4 hours, but you can if you want). The title for the next workshop is “Be Unique Concrete While You Flee from Cliche,” with the sub-title: “How to Avoid the Poison of Atrociously Mixed Metaphors.” More information will be posted about this workshop a couple of weeks in advance.

The cost for the all workshops is only a bit of your time and possibly some transit fare or gas money (because you have to get yourself to the workshop). Not only that, but these workshops are offered to any aspiring school-aged poets, whether your school has a poetry club/team or not. So come out and join us for some fun, poetry, and snacks!

Glorious, heavenly snacks!


CYHMN? Suggestions for Holiday Speeches (and congratulations!)

In the spirit of the season, here are the official CYHMN? Suggestions for Holiday Speeches – a surefire means to a stress-free, emotionally secure, and artistically inspiring holiday season.

Simply follow these pieces of advice, and any holiday speech that’s requested of you will move hearts, change minds, reconcile conflicts, and even cook food faster! Guaranteed!*

  1. Always do a performance poem. Or a mime. Everyone loves those things!
  2. Limit yourself to the goodly length of 3 minutes or less. While points won’t be deducted for going over, per se, the longer your poem goes the more likely you are to have food thrown at you. Which might not be such a bad thing, depending on the skill of the cook.
  3. “Turkey” rhymes with everything. Write accordingly.
  4. Despite the effectiveness of previous performance poems that dealt with subjects such as your great aunt’s drinking problem, your cousin’s racism, and the emotional neglect inflicted upon you by your parents, avoid borrowing lines from these pieces to include in your speech. The reception will likely be different from the one you received at the poetry club.
  5.  Know your audience and choose your imagery carefully. Despite what you may believe, there is more than one holiday being celebrated at this time of year.
  6. Even at home, props are not allowed.
  7. A glass of your favourite holiday beverage is NOT considered a prop.
  8. Musical accompaniment is optional. Unless it’s offered by your sister who has auditioned, unsuccessfully, for eight years to be on a reality TV show about aspiring ukelele players trying to make it to “The Show” – then it’s prohibited.
  9. Constrain your gestures to the space. At the best of times, no one appreciates a slap from a performance poet, no matter how much you think they should.
  10. Give generously, constantly, and joyously of yourself, your time, and your affection. Particularly if you’re trying to build a career as a performance poet because you won’t be able to afford giving anything else.

*Guarantee only valid in Instanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey on December 18, 2047, from 3:37 to 3:38 a.m.

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And congratulations to Bishop Grandin High School – the first team to officially register a team in CYHMN?!

For everyone else, please remember that the deadline for the Intent to Compete form is January 20 and the deadline for the registration form is February 28.