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The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Creative Writing Club poets perform at Rooted and Radical

Elizabeth Battaglia
Junior Isabella Adriatico reads her slam poem at the 2024 Rooted and Radical Slam Poetry Fest.

Creative Writing Club participated in the preliminary bouts of the Rooted and Radical Slam Poetry Fest for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival, previously known as Louder Than A Bomb, hosts hundreds of high school slam poets from the Chicago area each year.

North participated in the festival kick-off on Feb. 10 and then the preliminary bouts on Feb. 17 and 18 in Chicago.

“Each team has to compete in two preliminary bouts,” said Elizabeth Battaglia, Creative Writing Club adviser. “The people who are voted [as having] the best poem then go to compete at semifinals. That will be on the 16th of March.”

Senior Damien Micklevitz, juniors Isabella Adriatico, Alexandra MacDougall, Alex Brown and sophomore Lilliana Rederer performed slam poems for the competition.

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“They say that you need at least two slam poems before coming to the contest,” said Micklevitz. “You do not have to perform both of them but it’s good to have both in case you want to perform both.”

The poems could be about this year’s Rooted and Radical theme, Joy, or a theme of the poet’s choosing.

Senior Damien Micklevitz performs their slam poem during a preliminary bout. (Elizabeth Battaglia)

The festival was restructured and renamed in 2021, now having the poets, instead of judges, vote for the best piece in each bout.

“Everyone who participates chooses top five [poems] for the bout they were in and award nominations because there’s 14 awards you can get,” said Micklevitz. “With the top five for your bout, you can not choose anyone on your team. You also can’t choose yourself … for the [award] nominations you can’t choose yourself, but you can choose other members of your team.”

While Rooted and Radical has competitive elements, the competition is not the emphasis of the festival.

“It’s posed as a competition, but it’s actually more of a festival,” said Adriatico. “Everyone in there is very passionate and they’re very supportive. The whole event is about cheering people on through their artwork as they can be very vulnerable sharing it on stage.”

The festival gave students a place to express themselves and share their experiences with others.

“I’ve been a poet my whole life,” said Adriatico. “Having a platform to share my writing is really important as well.”

During their poetry unit in English 10, North sophomores watch a documentary about the festival from when it was previously known as Louder Than A Bomb. Battaglia encourages students who enjoy the poetry unit to consider participating in Rooted and Radical in the future.

Creative Writing Club meets every Friday from 2:45 to 4 in Courtyard A in the LRC.

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Tyler Moore
Tyler Moore, Editor In Chief
Tyler Moore is the editor-in-chief for the Stargazer. He is a senior at North, and this is his third year on the staff. Tyler engages in student journalism because it helps him engage in events at North and talk to new people.

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