String lights, tapestries and blankets spread on the floor created an intimate setting at the Palo Alto Teen Arts Council’s pajama-themed Point B Poetry Jam on Friday.
Palo Alto High School seniors Johanna Ehrensvärd and Maddie Lee organized the event for the first time, after founders Claire Eberhart and Teddie Stewart graduated Paly last year. All attending were welcome to perform poems, and many students chose to read their original work.
“I’m really happy with the outcome of Point B,” Ehrensvärd said. “The vibe was very cozy and the audience was calm, with a great sense of humor. I loved hearing everyone’s insights through their poetry.”
Lee echoed Ehrensvärd’s thoughts, and added that it was the first time Point B was held in a smaller conference room, rather than a larger multi-purpose space.
Many students enjoyed the performances, and read poetry as well.
“It was really cool because you get to be in a room with people you’ve never met before,” junior Lucia Amieva-Wang said. “Everyone’s here for the same reason, and it creates a cool environment.”
For those who performed poetry, this supportive environment made it easier to read poems without fear of judgement.
“They [the audience] were so loving, and I heard snaps through the whole performance,” Gunn High School junior Roni Manor said. “It made me [feel] safe to be really open and vulnerable during my performance. I’m really glad I did it.”
In the future, the TAC hopes to continue events like Point B Poetry Jam and open mics in order to provide safe spaces for students to share their work, according to senior Emily Zhang.
“There’s not that many other places where you can share things like this,” Zhang said. “It allows people to perform stuff without feeling overwhelmed or judged. The stakes are pretty low, so people can share little things that they did. There are so many poems tonight that we wouldn’t have heard if they didn’t decide to come to this.”