BSM hosted a spoken word workshop this month

Students could participate in a spoken word workshop to speak their passions.


Madeline Kurtovich

Junior Vy Truong attended a spoken word workshop to get tips on her poetry and to talk to others.

Spoken word is the out loud performance of poetry, as well as telling your story. BSM graduate and current Director of Mission, Ms. Lisa Lenhart-Murphy started the BSM Spoken Word Workshop this month. BSM English teachers Ms. Kari Koshiol and Ms. Kaia Preus run the club every Wednesday this February, helping students write their thoughts and express themselves through speech and literature.

Despite Koshiol and Preus being present, the students run the class and the teachers are very flexible when it comes to what the students can do and how they express themselves. “I started it because I think there are a lot of BSM students who have a lot of talent in the spoken word genre. I know we have students who write poems, participate in speech, or rap, but I wanted to give students the opportunity to write more than one semester in an English class,” Lenhart-Murphy said.

Poetry is a great way to express yourself, and it’s a great way to write down what’s on your mind.

— Ayden Davison

With the goal of this club being to allow students to express themselves in a cool and different way, many students have found this a place to show off their many talents. Sophomore Ayden Davison was very glad and open to the idea of a spoken word club right here at BSM. “Poetry is a great way to express yourself, and it’s a great way to write down what’s on your mind. This club is a rare opportunity that I have. Because usually I just have to write on my own time, my favorite part has been being able to hear other people and what they have to say through poetry,” Davison said.

The first week of spoken word was the introductory class where students learned about spoken word and then had time to start writing freely. In the second week, students listened to choir director Ms. Nancy Stockhouse speak about telling her story to the junior high, then they had time to write more or start speaking their poetry out loud. The plan for the third week is to be similar to the second week, where students will have time to write and practice their own spoken word. The first three weeks are set up to prepare students for an actual poetry slam in the new atrium. “We start every session by playing examples of spoken word on the TV (listening to pros); [in fact] the first week [we] listened to a deaf man speaking his spoken word,” Preus said.

Despite the planned out roadmap, students can come and go throughout the month. The thought is that if the spoken word club goes well this month, it will return again next year. There are clubs that are similar, but nothing quite like this; speech and debate allow students to express themselves, but spoken word allows students to express themselves through speech and writing in a way that wasn’t possible before. “I joined spoken word because, initially I joined speech because I needed a winter activity, and turns out I am pretty good at writing, so I joined to make more poems, then when I wrote poems I realized that this has a lot more meaning than I thought it did,” BSM sophomore Xela Gunvalson said.

Writing is a big part of spoken word, but being able to express one’s writing through speech is really what defines spoken word. Speaking the poetry that a student has written on their own is a way of displaying talents that BSM hasn’t really provided before. “Poetry itself helps me understand things, and [speaking it] brings out the emotion I didn’t think I had,” sophomore and Scholastic Poetry Silver Key Winner Alana Kabaka said.