The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper

Arts and Entertainment

Phoenix’s Spring Poetry Slam

By: Anna Zeng

On Saturday, May 25, MSJ’s Phoenix Art and Literary Magazine held its annual Spring Poetry Slam in the Little Theater. Along with the poetry reading, the three-hour event incorporated vocal and dance performances.

The annual event has been held, for the past six years, at Mission Coffee to promote the upcoming release of the Phoenix magazine. Due to an audio equipment malfunction at this year’s Winter Poetry Slam, Mission Coffee has requested that Phoenix supply its own audio equipment for the next Poetry Slam. Coordinating with Drama Teacher Tanya Roundy, the club opted to host its Spring Poetry Slam in the Little Theater instead.DSC_7817

The Poetry Slam showcased a variety of performances by MSJ students with Senior Elizabeth Wu acting as MC. The Slam began with “Above the Lake” by Stephen O’Connor, the night’s starting poem read by Phoenix Editor in Chief Valerie Tsai. This was followed by a vocal performance by Seniors Leena Yin and Vivian Dong, Indian dances by Sophomore Sneha Patkar and Senior Rasika Patkar, and a heartwarming cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” by Senior Eamon Jahani.

Five eager contestants took their turns on the stage to read classic or self-written poems. Both Senior Elizabeth Wu and Junior Arjun Banerjee read self-written poems, while Juniors Vivian Jair, Anna Zeng, and Jessica Zhang selected existing poems to read. After two vocal performances by Juniors Jessica Zhang and the duet of Austin Lee and Dana Gurion, the open mic session began, in which members of the audience step up to the stage for impromptu performances. Participants in the open mic session read poems and granted the audience impromptu performances of “ABC” as well as song choices from My Neighbor Totoro and Les Miserables.

Sophomore Stella Han kicked off the next series of performances with a riveting violin piece, before the vocal performances of Sophomore Lara Khamisy, Junior Amber Ma, and Sophomores Justin Seo, Ricky Chu, and Daniel Lee. Junior Alexander Hancock and Senior Khanh Nguyen’s musical performances entranced the audience before the Cello group, with Seniors Vivian Dong and Calvin Leung, and others, presented an upbeat cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. The night ended with a lively finale of “Careless Whispers” featuring Senior Khanh Nguyen on saxophone.

The annual Phoenix Art and Literary Magazine will be published on June 3 and will be sold for $5 at the bell tower quad until Friday, June 7. The club is also accepting orders through joining a Facebook event or sending an e-mail to Please include name, third period teacher and room, and the number of copies requested when ordering online.


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