Respectfully I Decline

Hannah is a gifted young writer who wrote and performed the winning entry in the recent White Ribbon Poetry Slam competition.

A 16 year-old at St Mary’s College, Hannah says she really enjoys writing and performing.

“I’ve been writing poetry for six years and I am also working on writing three novels which feature the difficult themes of mental health struggles for teenagers.”

Hannah says she was encouraged to take part in the Poetry Slam by her English teacher.

“I went to a White Ribbon Youth Ambassador course. My teacher knew I was into poetry and she suggested I enter. I really like the performance part as its important in using facial expressions and emphasis on the right phrases to get the audience involved in the intention of the poem,” says Hannah.

Hannah’s entry ‘Respectfully’ focused on using an unhealthy relationship and dedicating the poem to ‘respectfully declining’ it. She says the poem builds up to the strength of being able to walk away from the relationship.

“The reasoning behind choosing this approach is that I believe it is still important to address the audience that are unaware of the unhealthy relationship they are in.”

Hannah says this is something she has experienced and something many others have as well and it is typical in abusive relationships.

“I wanted my words to be relevant to personal experience that people can relate to and I was really pleased with the reaction.”

The judges were very impressed with Hannah’s work, awarding her the $500 prize and a Weta Workshop Hoodie.

“I love the hoodie,” says Hannah. “Back at school there was an awesome reaction to the White Ribbon Poetry Slam and everyone was super proud.”



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