The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

The Voice

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

Alexander Reyes Wins 9th Grade SLAM Poetry Contest


On March 6th, Terra Linda High School hosted a ninth-grade SLAM poetry competition where ten contestants went head-to-head performing their spoken word poetry. Students in all of the ninth-grade English classes presented their original poetry in class and those who were chosen as the overall best poets were selected to compete in the SLAM poetry contest.. Sequoyah Hagen, Alexander Reyes, Kelley Fouts, Bobby Townsend, Jackson Elsdon, Bhuvan Medidi, Alexander Reyes, Logan Yi, Arshia Vira, and Declan Drey all shared poems. They presented poems about a diverse range of topics, from identity and race to pets. After careful consideration, Logan Yi was awarded 3rd place and Declan Drey received 2nd place. Ultimately, judges Ms. Newton, Mr. Meusel, and Ms. Baskin made their decision and crowned Alexander Reyes as the first-place winner of this year’s competition! 

Alexander Reyes is a freshman at TL who enjoys writing poetry as a way to express his thoughts and feelings. His winning poem, titled “I am Not” was about his experience as a Latino, combatting the stereotypes that are often placed on Latino/Latina people. As Alexander himself explains, “We are much more than a title, an image that people have of us, we each are very different.” Alex embraces his Latino identity but rejects stereotypes as an unfair generalization of a group of very unique individuals. He elaborates, “We each are Latino but we also have many different qualities as well, we are diverse.” His poem continues to express how Alex feels in regards to talking about his racial background, he describes what assumptions people might have about him and the truth of the matter that contradicts those preconceived notions. Alex is inspired to write poetry because he feels it is a  “really wonderful way to express yourself” and he can use  it to explore his beliefs. “Sometimes you have these thoughts inside of you that you can’t say you know, talk about it, just talking person to person.” Alex adds, “Sometimes you have to put thoughts into things you work on. In that moment I decided to put my thoughts about Latino people into poetry.” While Alex admits he did not expect himself to win, it was a welcome surprise. Alexander Reyes’s poem, “I Am Not”, is attached below for all interested individuals to read.


I Am Not

By Alexander Reyes


When I say, I am Latino

Many people think some things that aren’t entirely correct

It isn’t their fault, of course

It’s just they sometimes forget.

They forget I’m much more than an image people support.

Their thoughts frozen and unchanging.

Their beliefs as firm as a rock.

Let me tell you some things people ignore. 

To make things change how they weren’t before.


I’m not just a Latino.

I’m a Salvadorean.

I’m a son.

I’m a believer of god.


When people think of us just by the label of Latino,

I feel stabbed in the back by a thousand swords.

I’m much more than that, no.

We are much more than those simple words.


We are not just Latino.

We eat carne asada cooked as hot as the sweltering heat in Chile. 

We eat frijoles with tortillas, as crisp as the churros found in Mexico.

We throw parties that go until the sun strikes the horizon.

We promote hospitality.

We help those in need.

We are a family.


When people throw words shaped like silver daggers at us, filled with many insults

We will bring out our golden shield of unity.

Because we are all not just Latino.

We are courageous.

We are strong.

We are diverse and large.

We are all united against hate.

No matter how many insults and attacks they throw at us.

We will stand up and fight.


I am not.

I am not just a title.

I am a person.





Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Voice welcomes comments to its online publications. Comments may support or disagree with the perspective of the writers but must be in good taste and refrain from inappropriate language. Most content on this site covers individuals affiliated with San Rafael City Schools. A legitimate email address is required to post a comment. The Voice reserves the right to remove any comment it deems inappropriate and does not allow anonymous comments.
All The Voice of Troy Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *