Northwood’s Hidden Talents: Abigail Sepulveda

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Matthew Dimaandal, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that Northwood has talented students, whether they’re so academically gifted their report cards seem like a spam of the “A” key or musical prodigies that can play a piece perfectly the first time. Although most of the typical talented students are musically-inclined, some students have unique talents but tend to hide it from the limelight– like junior Abigail Sepulveda, a slam poet who writes to her heart’s content, providing powerful poems on paper in a pandemic. 

The Howler: What is slam poetry?

Abigail Sepulveda: Think of poetry but with a lot more liberty. It can basically be almost whatever structure you want. It doesn’t really follow any rules. It’s basically your heart’s desire. 

TH: What are some of your favorite poets or poems?

AS: My favorite poet is definitely Harry Baker because he was the one that I saw that got me interested into poetry to begin with. My favorite poem is by him and it’s called “Paper People”. It was revolutionary in my little 7th grade eyes to just see poems without these clear cut structures that can go on and talk about politics and big things. 

TH: Where have you performed your slam poetry?

AS: For the short while that I did do Speech and Debate, they had an event called Original Prose and Poetry  where I entered with a poem about school and school anxiety. That was the only other time that I really performed but aside from that it’s usually just written things. 

TH: What kind of poems do you like writing?

AS: Anything that is in my mind because certain things are more pressing than others at the time. There’s obviously the cliché love poems and then there’s the political poems and then there’s the whole “I had a revelation while washing the dishes’” poem. If I feel strongly enough about it to think about it for more than five minutes, I could write a poem about it.

TH: Are you doing anything with slam poetry in the future?

AS: As of right now it is kind of a hobby but I had this whole plan of reaching out to some cafes and actually perform and reach out to these cafes in Costa Mesa and be like “Hey, can I go in for a poetry reading or just a performance?” but then the Coronavirus happened. Everything just closed and I’m like “Oh, I guess poetry is not as important as public health.” 

TH: What do you recommend for people who want to go into slam Poetry?

AS: I think it would depend on how or why they’re doing it. If they want to first get into it then I would suggest they start out with listening and watching performances of people doing their poems. The other thing they can do is if they have something they already want to write about then just go ahead and write it. That’s literally how you start, you just write something, and then you’re like it’s a poem because it doesn’t really follow the prose rules. Just by writing what you want, it kind of fulfills that. 

TH: Any last things you want to say?AS: It shouldn’t be considered a niche thing. It’s for everyone. Anyone and everyone can write a poem. It’s just a thing you can do. With art sometimes you feel like you need to take these art classes but you can just get into it on your own.