Hometown poet judges annual Poetry Festival

Competition allows students to express themselves to an audience.


Halie Kim

Jazz band performs an original piece at the Poetry Festival. The yearly competition showcases writers and poets from both CHS and SHHS.

San Francisco poet Genny Lim guest judged the Poetry Festival and chose seniors Corinne Sigmund and Zach Hammer as the all-school winners for both CHS and SHHS.

Hammer shared a poem regarding his admiration for his father and how he looks to him as a role model. Sigmund chose to keep the topic of her writing private.

“I worked hard on the poem and it was nice to receive recognition,” Sigmund said. “I have won prizes within my grade before, but I am surprised to be recognized throughout the entire school.”

Sigmund, who writes just as hobby, won first place her sophomore year and third place her junior year.

Language teacher Riki Garcia assembled a group of poets from both schools who shared their original pieces at the assembly.

“It gives any reader or writer the chance to feel the love in the room,” English teacher Julia Arce said. “It’s a chance to share something in your heart and then feel how it moves and inspires people.”

Lim and all English Department members judged and read the poems that students submitted.

“We look for an emotional engagement and words that communicate something and move the readers,” Arce said. “The writing has to utilize the language well and use words and images in the best way.”

Teachers and judges want writing that speaks of something everyone can relate to but says it in a different way, according to Arce.

The winners from all grades took part in a lunch in the Williams Library after the festival, where they had the opportunity to meet Lim and take photos.

“The festival gives people the chance to feel what it is like to connect with others on an emotional level,” Arce said. “People develop a presence in order to just be themselves and share their amazing words to a greater audience.”