Community High School’s Poetry Club Seniors Participate in Michigan Louder Than a Bomb


Ellen Stone talks to the students in poetry club. Some students from the club are participating in Michigan Louder Than A Bomb this year.

Community High School will be taking a team of five to this year’s Michigan Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam, held at Wayne State University on March 19. Here, the CHS team will be competing against other teams from around Michigan.

This event was founded in 2012, but originally started in Chicago in order to give kids a creative outlet and express social commentary. Nate Marshal, who has read poetry at Community, started this poetry slam. This event has now spread not just to Michigan but to other states as well.

This year will be Carson Borbely’s third year competing in Michigan Louder Than A Bomb on the Community team, which also includes Avery Farmer, Erez Dessel, Clara Kaul and Eve Zikmund-Fisher. They will be performing a group poem there. They decided to write about coming of age, because they could all relate and contribute to the topic. “It’s hard to write a group poem,” Borbely said. “You have to get a lot of people together and bridge a lot of poetic styles and also find a commonality that you all want to write about.”

This slam is different from others Borbely has participated in. “Michigan Louder Than A Bomb is way lower stress than a lot of the other poetry competitions,” Borbely said. “I think it’s because it’s not about winning, it’s really just about being with kids from all over the state and hearing about what their lives are like.” She explains that this slam encourages collaborations later on between different Michigan teams.

This team was formed through poetry club, which has its own Community High School slam which is being held March 30th this year. In order to advance to the citywide slam, one must do well at this qualifying slam. Students can read their poetry for the sake of performing rather than competing as well. People outside of poetry club can read as well although Ellen Stone, poetry club leader, likes to keep it to CHS students whether they’re in poetry club or not.

Poetry club meets weekly. They start their meetings with a snack and as they eat, they talk about upcoming events, read, write and listen to poetry in a low pressure and non-competitive situation Stone explains. There is not a requirement to participate in slams or even read your poetry to the other members of the club.

For the senior members of poetry club, these two upcoming slams will be some of their last as high school students. Borbely is excited for the Michigan Louder Than A Bomb. “I’m not nervous until the second they call us on stage,” Borbely said.