UNION, NJ - Over forty students from Kawameeh and Burnet Middle Schools and Union High School showcased their talents at the Second Annual United Poetry Slam.

The event featured two student hosts from Union High School, thirty student poets, six “live artists” who created art on stage in front of the audience, and ten student volunteers who helped to run the event. 

Poetry Slam was created to help unite the three schools and provide an opportunity for student expression. Committee member and ELA teacher at Kawameeh, Jennifer McCartney, said, “it is incredibly important for students to have an outlet to express themselves. Poetry is a way for all students to express their dreams, speak out against injustice, or simply let the world know their thoughts. Often, they feel like no one is listening; poetry gives them a voice, and this event lets their voices be heard.”  

Sign Up for E-News

Participants were moved by their peers’ engagement and applause, and emboldened by their chance to share their poems with the world. Also featured was a “gallery walk” of images and poetry created by students who did not perform. The art created by the live artists was later auctioned off in a silent auction.

All proceeds from the event and the silent auction of the live-created artwork benefited the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside, where every $1 provides up to three meals.  

MCs: Larra Richeme & Theo Awosola

Visual Artists: Laynie Joseph, Lucia Lacourtna, Brandon Magliore, Cleo Medeus, and Kaitlyn Pello

Poets: Nikita McKinnon ,Tania Batialle, Kayla Skocypec, Eloradana Dorce, Dallas Rodriguez,  Ifeoluwa Olusoga, Ojuolape Odusanya, Destin Johnson, Faith Cardillo, Asia James, Zachary Gallardo,  John Manalo, Laynie Joseph, Mya Wilkins, Kimberly Moreira, Paulina Markowski, Dean Khalil, Zacharee Charles, Nick Gonzalez, Anthony Jackson, Diana Elguera, Favour Owowo, Brianna McNair, and Roselyn Samuels