Poetry Power empowers individuality

Sophomore+Karissa+Kalnas%2C+last+year%E2%80%99s+Poetry+Power+winner%2C+looks+forward+to+this+year%27s+event.
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Poetry Power empowers individuality

Sophomore Karissa Kalnas, last year’s Poetry Power winner, looks forward to this year's event.

Sophomore Karissa Kalnas, last year’s Poetry Power winner, looks forward to this year's event.

Sophomore Karissa Kalnas, last year’s Poetry Power winner, looks forward to this year's event.

Sophomore Karissa Kalnas, last year’s Poetry Power winner, looks forward to this year's event.

Jodee Capati, Lead Reporter

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Poetry Power has been created in honor of National Poetry Month, yet a few are aware of it. It is an event meant for both students and staff to gather and celebrate their love for poetry.

Karissa Kalnas, last year’s winner, joined Poetry Power last year as a sophomore and was surprised and proud to find success.

“I personally thought it was a mistake. I felt happy and proud to a certain extent,” Kalnas said. “I never thought that my work could be worthy of winning, but it was!”

Not only is Poetry Power an event set to entertain the audience through the poets’ words, it’s also a chance for writers to grow as individuals. Poetry gives them an opportunity to create art with their words and speak out the ideas that are in their hearts.

“[It] is relief from the words that build up inside that I don’t know how to express otherwise,” Kalnas said.

“Many who presented their work in Poetry Power, and [Karissa], grew in confidence that her work is valued and impactful,” said Marc Mantasoot, English teacher, poet, and sub-coordinator of the event.

Participating in Poetry Power can lead to both external and internal benefits. Besides improving her writing in terms of word choice and description, she grew as a writer that can focus on multiple perspectives.

“I’m starting to focus [more] on the light of the night rather than the darkness. It changed my thinking in ways I saw [impossible],” Kalnas said.

She also has become more receptive to constructive criticism. “Having feedback [on my pieces] is a favorite part about sharing my poems. I like [seeing] how it impacted someone else,” Kalnas said.

Aside from her writing, Kalnas’s has become more accepting of herself and her written expression.

“I’d say it has undoubtedly helped me become comfortable in my own skin,” Kalnas said. “Poetry allows me to be free and fly as high as I want without fear of falling.”

“As she continues to grow as an artist and person, she will continue to see reality and truth in her work,” Mantasoot added.

Inspiration leads a long way in writing. As for Karissa, she considers people close to her heart the reasons as to why she chooses to write.

“All of my poems are snippets of my life that make a picture if someone looks hard enough. That’s why I have 5 people who are able to decode them, and I’m thankful for that,” Kalnas said.

“Souls like Karissa’s could go a different lonelier, alienated way if they become disenfranchised not finding a place for their gifts, sensibilities, and vision of the world,” Mantasoot added. “And in return Karissa has given Poetry Power a more confident, smiling, cool face that it needed.”

Poetry Power will be held at the HEHS Auditorium on December 6th from 3:15-4:30. Poets like Marc Mantasoot, Terry Loncaric, Karissa Kalnas, and some guest poets will perform.

“Poets may internalize an unintended message that people don’t care or appreciate their art, their gift, maybe even them as people,” Mantasoot stated.

“There is no such thing as a bad poem. The pieces that are spoken every year are unique in that they resemble a little flash of someone’s life. Be you, because that’s the most beautiful thing you can be,” Kalnas ended.

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Poetry Power empowers individuality