Memorial and Patrick Henry MS dominate 8th grade poetry slam

Mary Lange of Patrick Henry Middle School won the districtwide poetry slam this morning at the Washington Pavilion.

All the eighth graders in the Sioux Falls School District wrote and performed a poem. The top four from each middle school competed for prizes this morning in front of their peers.

Here’s what her poem looked like in a classroom:

Mary said she took things happening in her life and turned them into stories. She credited her teacher, Chelsea Schjodt, with bringing the best out of her.

"This has been my favorite year ever for English," she said.

The top five, as chosen by a panel of judges:

1) Mary Lange, Patrick Henry “Park Bench”

2) Brady Boerema, Memorial “Superheroes”

3) Graham Ferguson, Patrick Henry “Life is Like Basketball”

4) Nick Ahrens, Memorial “More than Shoes”

5) Rachel Wickie, Memorial “Welcome to Insanity”

Memorial’s Dylan Garrow did not place but his “Take a Stand,” more of a rap than a slam poem, received by far the loudest cheer from the 1,800 students in attendance. Some were chanting his name after Mary was announced as the winner.


I screwed up trimming my recording of Dylan’s piece, cutting it off just before his last line, which ended “round of applause.”