From the classroom to the main stage

Creative writing student wins contest, performs at the Adrienne Arsht Center


Kaitlyn Guise and the other winners perform at the 2018 Piano Slam. The group of artists performed at the Knight Concert Hall alongside the Trivella Piano Duo.

Tamia Streeter, Feature Editor

When Senior Kaitlyn Guise walked into her creative writing class during the first marking period and saw actress Deborah Magdalena she would not have imagined that the experience would lead to her performing her poetry in a theatre full of people at the Adrienne Arsht Center and putting $100 dollars in her and her teacher’s pockets.
Magdalena explained the basics of Piano Slam, a show that is a blend of poetry, dance and music to Guise and her classmates. Guise’s creative writing teacher Kirsis Padron gave the students a grade for submitting a piece of their original poetry to the competition.
“Our poems had to use musical terms while portraying a sense of yin and yang, since that was the theme for this year’s slam,” Guise said. “I submitted a piece describing my life through a metaphor of a broken watch, and to my surprise I won.”
The prize included $100 for both Guise and Padron, and a spot in a performance at the slam. Guise and the other winners rehearsed with the company on “almost a daily basis” for the entire month of February.
“The entire experience was a blast,” Guise said. “Since then, I received a paid poetry gig sponsored by Kaboom and Target where I performed the same piece and I am still in shock that I am getting paid to recite my poetry.”
Padron’s gives her students the option of submitting their work every year and she says they have a reputation for winning.
“I was so excited to see Kaitlyn perform,” Padron said. “She is awesome.”