Students create blackout poetry using newsprint

Alexis Grisham



Poetry Grisham LS 041511
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Alexis Grisham

Brandon Sanchez and Brittany Wieseler



Poetry Sanchez LS 041511
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Brandon Sanchez and Brittany Wieseler

Sarahi Morales



sarahi morales 1
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Sarahi Morales

Brittany Bell



041511 Brittany Bell
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Brittany Bell

Rachel Worth



041511 Rachel Worth
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Rachel Worth

Tyler Sanders



041511 Tyler Sanders
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Tyler Sanders

Hailee Wemple



041511 Hailee Wemple
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Hailee Wemple

In honor of April as National Poetry month, The Daily Sentinel’s Newspapers in Education department led by Debra Dobbins ran a blackout poetry contest for area middle school and high school students.

To create their blackout poetry, students used various pages and articles from the Sentinel and, with markers, blacked out all but the phrases, words or letters they needed to create their poems.

The Sentinel received about 120 poems. Judges Rachel Sauer, features writer; Robin Dearing, assistant to the publisher; and Ann Wright, features editor, were pleased at the effort students displayed to make poetry using everything from the classified section to the obituaries.

Here are the winning poems and students. Enjoy reading the poems for yourself, then see the students reading their own poems in videos at GJSentinel.com.

And consider writing some blackout poetry of your own.

# # #

ALEXIS GRISHAM

Grand Junction High School sophomore, age 16.

Inspiration: “I went through a tough time when I was living with my real mom, and I made some bad choices, so I thought about the trail I’m on now.”

Her poem: TRAIL

A great trail that leads to the edge
This is a tough road but passable
The trail is easy to follow as it winds along.
Here, you’ll descend into the canyon.
Stop often and look
For many of these men and women come from recent battles
From this panoramic point
Before the new boundary was established
Stay on what appears to be the main road to the edge of the road.
To the edge of the canyon.
You’ll be impressed with this great trail.

# # #

BRANDON SANCHEZ
Grand Junction High School sophomore, age 16.

BRITTANY WIESELER
Grand Junction High School sophomore, age 16.

Inspiration: “When we were writing this, it was bringing back memories of big games, just the competition and the work,” Sanchez explained. “I play lacrosse and he plays football and runs track, so we just kind of turned toward sports,” Wieseler said. “We just flowed off each other when we were writing.”

Their poem: HOME AT LAST

I wasn’t given much of a chance
A lot of people counted me out
I was sent packing with nowhere to go
I got a little rattled and tried to settle down
I kept on going
I’m on a roll now
No one can stop me
I’m going to be known as one of the greatest
It’s like a civil war; hitting full force
I did everything right, and they did everything wrong
We willed ourselves to win, hoping for no trouble
The spurt ended with us
NCAA tournament Champions
The hard work paid off at last
Hometown champions

# # #

SARAHI MORALES

Palisade High School senior, age 18.

Inspiration: “I’m from Juarez, Mexico, living here without my parents. I feel like I’m in a new stage in my life, and this is my experience.”

Her poem: CENTER OF EXPERIENCE

A cold side brings everything.
Enjoy, imagine.
Great vision to the world of people,
be unique,
be totally excited about it.
Remember what life was before,
and know that time is gone.
Give people a chance to experience what life is,
It is a life!
Imagine some cities
and bring the lights around the world,
Lights to open experience,
And know the mystery of experience.

# # #

BRITTANY BELL

Redlands Middle School seventh-grader, age 13.

Inspiration: “A few years ago, my grandpa died of lung cancer. So, when I read this obituary — it was the guy’s sister who wrote it, I think — I wanted to be deep and meaningful, because I kind of knew what she was going through.”

Her poem: THE BOY NEXT DOOR

The boy next door rode horses and annoyed the librarians.
Saturdays he had lunch at Duck Pond.
He served in Vietnam.
But not only was he the boy next door,
He was my brother.
Cancer can’t take the memories away.

# # #

RACHEL WORTH

Redlands Middle School seventh-grader, age 12.

Inspiration: “I’m a Christian and God is really something that changed my life a lot, so when I saw ‘God’ in (the newspaper story) I thought I could write something about this.”

Her poem: LIFE’S JOURNEY

She walked down a path of nothing.
Her mind on nothing,
Until she decided she wanted nothing ...
But God.

# # #

TYLER SANDERS

East Middle School eighth-grader, age 14.

Inspiration: “I thought about my past because my mom got put in jail, and I remembered how when she’d go out and left us alone, how home would make us feel safe.”

His poem: THE FEELING OF HOME

The minutes at home
will break the way we think.
About the defeat of life and,
the feeling of sadness.


# # #

HAILEE WEMPLE

East Middle School eighth-grader, age 14.

Inspiration: “I thought about how holding to one thing, even if it’s not much or even if it’s not a big thing, eventually things’ll get better.”

Her poem: MIRACLE

Hold on to a security blanket
Take all the time you need
Thinking
Writing
Adjusting until you
Shine

# # #



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