Trojan poets bring back the trophy

Alisal High School contestants bringing back the trophy from the Evening of the Spoken Word.


This year Alisal High School hosted their annual Literature Live on November 2nd at the Mullins Theater. Literature Live has been happening for the past 13 years with students from all grade levels participating in it.

The event provides students an opportunity to recite their creative writing to an audience. Senior Samantha Ruelas decided to participate in the Literature Live, because she wanted to spread a message, “I was inspired by many students and wanted to express myself by writing.”

Poems can be in English or any other language. A group of teachers make up the judges. This year it was Dr. Gutierrez, Ms. Albano, Ms. Frankel, Mr. Mendez, and Mrs. Collins, who is the main coordinator. Collins started the event when she first started working at Alisal, “I’ve done poetry for the elementary school level and  I wanted to start it at the high school level.” Frankel, in her second year of judging, said, “I’m hooked, it was an incredible experience.”

Students were judged on their presentation, memorization and body language. Everyone who participates earns a reward for participating, but if you place in the top three you get a bigger prize such as a book, shirt, or journals.

A total of nine poems were recited by seniors Samantha Ruelas, Yanely Gregorio, Bryan Mendoza, Kimberly Torres,Diego Raya,Natalia Jimenez;  junior Yliana Rodriguez; sophomore Giselle Rodriguez-Lopez; and freshman Vianey Aguirre.

Gregorio has been participating in the event for the past three years. She recited her poem, “I found my happiness” because she likes writing about things that people don’t like to talk about. She said, “I fell in love with writing because it gave me a chance to express words that share a story. Stories that can help many by either bringing joy, comfort,laughter etc”.

Gregorio’s experience paid off as she took 1st Place, followed by Vianey Aguirre’s “Life Through Her Eyes” in 2nd Place , and in third, there was a tie between Samantha Ruelas’ “I Stay” and Natalia Jimenez’s “The Light”.  Aguirre said she wants to tell other students, “It’s scary to go up and present, but if you really want it, you should go for it.” Gregorio said, “Winning first place during my senior year was great, but I am prouder of my growth through the three years of participating in this competition.”

All nine contestants who participated in Literature Live were able to go to next round; The Evening of the Spoken Word. During the Evening of the Spoken Word 10 Alisal students participated, the nine participants from Literature Live and senior Angela Hernandez.

Hernandez took second place in the whole district with her poem “A Hollow Name”. Samantha Ruelas and Vianey Aguirre both earned honorable mention.

Alisal earned enough points to win back the trophy. Gregorio was happy that they were able to bring back the trophy, “It was a great feeling to bring back the trophy because it’s my last year and being be able to be part of them team that brought it back was a great accomplishment.”

There will be a second Evening of the Spoken Word in April that will determine if Alisal keeps the trophy.