Poetry, like giving, often comes from the heart.



Friday evening, members of the El Dorado High School Kansas Association of Youth (KAY) were doing both.


Poetry, like giving, often comes from the heart.

Friday evening, members of the El Dorado High School Kansas Association of Youth (KAY) were doing both.

In a flash of inspiration while watching a movie one night, EHS student Kassai Moorhead brainstormed the idea of having a poetry slam.

That germ of an idea blossomed into a KAY fund-raiser hosted at The Book Grinder to collect money for the Fill-A-Backpack program, which is sponsored by a food bank in Wichita.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Kelly Oltman, one of the slam organizers. “They send non-perishable items to the elementary schools. We’re helping out the little ones because one day, they’ll be us.”

Students were charged $1 to enter and $1 to read three poems, plus 25 cents for every poem after.

KAY encouraged student to read poetry of their own and to leave the known writers behind for the night. They also let shy writers have their friends read for them.

Stephanie Williams, senior, brought a notebook fat full of poems to choose from. Even though she’s not a KAY member, she was drawn to the slam.

“I’m just here,” Williams said. “I might as well [read them], I’ve wrote enough of them.”
A fan of expressing feelings through poetry, Williams writes “whatever I feel like writing.” In fact, the first poem she performed was written in French (with an English translation available, natch), entitled “L’Ombre Nocturne.”