Pacific poet Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh delivered performance poetry workshops to English classes throughout the week.
The hidden talents and passions of our students were revealed through powerful messages and a skillful way with words.
The judges were impressed with the variety of topics – ranging from the environment, to love, to identity – and the confidence of the contestants as they took centre stage to spread their word. Selecting only one winner was not an easy task as the variety and quality of the performances was of such a high calibre.
Dr Marsh spoke highly of all those students who entered the Poetry Slam Competition. “I marvelled at their creations in the short span of time I had with them! There are definitely some poetry stars to watch out for.”
One of those stars is Year 11 student Irianna Young Yen who won the competition with her poem, My Crown of Brown. If you weren’t lucky enough to watch her perform live during Literacy Week, you can find a copy of her poem below and watch a recording by clicking here.
The students who competed in the Poetry Slam Competition were Maxwell Brady, William Brougham, Thomas Buchanan, Charles Cave, Bianca Escobar-Flaunty, Roger Guo, Nicholas Houghton, Aayush Prakash, David Sue, Will Thompson, Samuel Vatikani and Irianna Young Yen.
My Crown of Brown by Irianna Young Yen
Who am I, Who can I be?
I'm laying here
Who am I?
What can I be?
Am I just a discrimination, an abomination, with no determination
A misfit, an outcast with no real purpose
Hiding behind the curtains
Of shame and disappointment
No, that's not true
I'm a Polynesian
Who's proud and loud
To wear that crown of brown
I stand out cause that's the person
I wanna be
I stand tall, with my head held high
You can knock me down but I still will try
I'm not just gonna sit and cry cry cry
Cause I am brown and I wear that crown
Who am I?
Who can I be!
Anything, that's what I want to achieve
Some will say never, others will say stop
Ill just say, you ain't no cop
Because, I am here!
Opportunities are knocking at my door
And now I know
That what I can be
Who am I?
That's for me to decide
Now I'm gonna turn the pages
Over to education
It's a fact, for people like me
To suffer from poverty
Working in factories and as cleaning ladies
Just so they can provide for their families
That's a page that I don't want to live in
A place where the cycle will never break
A place where knowledge is limited
A place where depression is a thing
A place that, we'll let's be straight up
I don't wanna be in
I can achieve the impossible
Because in reality it says
I won't set for that fact
That's just cause I'm black
I won't ever make it
Now I'm lying here
I know who I am
And what I want to be
And you know what
I don't know what will come in the future
But I know that whatever I do
I'll do it with all my might and heart
And I'm never going to stop
I'm gonna make it to the top