Author Archives: Tristen Pankake-Sieminski

The Finishing Touches -by Tristen

This past week Habeeb and I have been diligently working on compiling the early stages of our book.  As we are trying to make the uinner story throughout the poems flow as smoothly as possible, we have come to some difficulties.  It has caused us to rewrite parts of our poems so that the story remains recognizable. Continue reading

The Assembly was a Success! -by Tristen

20131115_141402Finally, after all the planning and coordinating it took to have our Spoken Word assembly, it happened.  The date and time was set, Habeeb and I arrived early to fix up the stage and get each performer ready.  In total, we had 10 performances.  Seven of those performances were made up of students from our Spoken Word Club.  The other three were invited guests.

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The Beginnings -by Tristen

Another week along this project and things are starting to look up with a couple major boundaries to be passed soon.  While searching the internet for ways to self publish cheaply and effectively I stumbled upon a website that will publish our book for $4 a book.  This is incredible especially because it means with the little bit of money we are using to start this project off we should be able to make a substantial amount of extra money through the selling of our books.  Also next Friday, November 15, we will be hosting an assembly for the entire school to come see. Continue reading

Sports, School and Poetry – by Tristen


With another week of time to write poetry going by comes another week full of school work, important sports games, and required events to fill my time.  This past week I wrote a first draft version of one of the first poems for the book.

After I write my first draft, Habeeb will look it over first.  Once he is done correcting any mistakes and giving suggestions I edit a more final version of the piece.  Then I often send the poem to our advisor, Harve Nichols.  He then repeats the process done by Habeeb.  After receiving a lot of feedback I am able to write a much stronger final draft.  Then Habeeb and I read over it again.  Some poems we have written in this process will not end up in the book, but it is good practice for us to expand our knowledge in writing.  This process creates poems that we find good enough for the book. We will make the final decision on the exact pieces to be included in the book much later on.

Unfortunately with school work and athletics piling up, I am unsure of how much time I will be able to write.  I hope to write at least the start of another piece for our book, and to complete a poem in response to another person’s request for a poem.  With just a little bit to do this week, I can complete another week for this project.

Fundraising by Tristen

This week has been less eventful then the previous weeks.  This week we talked a lot more about the plan and format of our book.  We decided upon the idea of having only one poem per page, and each poem alternates it’s author.  This would hopefully make the book run with possibly just my poems on the left pages, and Habeeb’s on the right.  This will make it much easier to distinguish who’s poetry it is and also keep the flow of the storyline even.  Continue reading

Assemblies and Story lines by Tristen

This week we got confirmation on a date for an assembly we want to have.  We hope that our mentor, Harve Nichols, and his two spoken word companions, will come perform alongside Habeeb and I on a Friday afternoon.  Now that we have a date, we will have to start fundraising.  In the next couple weeks we plan on fundraising at least $100 dollars.  We plan on selling food and drinks during lunch periods to anyone in the name of our project.   Continue reading

Performances and Meetings- by Tristen

4875457881_1194177c39_mThis week we got to perform the piece of spoken word we had been practicing for the past week.  We didn’t think that we were going to be able to memorize it, but after we practiced and practiced we realized we had it all down.  Originally we wanted to perform without microphones, so people could actually hear our voices, but we ended up using the microphones because we were worried everyone couldn’t hear us. Continue reading

Community Sharing – by Tristan

In an effort to help publicize our project within the community, Habeeb and I will be performing a piece of spoken word in front of the school.  We will be performing a piece by “Twin Poets” Al Mills & Nnamdi Chukwuocha.  Hopefully after this performance we will be able to gain a lot of support from our peers.  I am really excited to perform with Habeeb because I think it will be interesting to see the reaction from our peers.  I have performed spoken word alone before but I’m finding it much more exciting to be performing with Habeeb. Continue reading


The summer started out with the simple goal of writing as much poetry as possible.  As the summer progressed, I found myself writing at least one poem a day.  Each poem about something relevant to my mood that day.  Habeeb met with our mentor Harve almost a week into summer, but sadly I was not able to attend.  Each week Habeeb and I shared our poetry with Harve and he provided great feedback which we used to make our poetry even better. Continue reading