In conjunction with the German American Heritage Center's current exhibition The White Rose: The Student Resistance Against Hitler, Munich 1942-1943, the Davenport venue sponsored a poetry contest seeking original works inspired by the theme of “resistance.” All individuals chosen for the slam were between 13 and 20 years of age, with their poems five minutes or less in length, and the contest winners received $100 as compensation for their entries. With the kind permission of the GAHC and the authors, a selection of winning entries will be published monthly through February.



Zach Blair, 19 years old, Augustana College

“Poetic Justice”

I live in this world, a world full of hate,
where the poor suffer more and the rich celebrate.
But what place do I have talking about rich and poor?
You all see me – I’m a white male, straight as I do it, too.
What problems do I got?
How could my life be so hard?
Let me start –
I’m a man and sometimes it’s sad, ‘cause it’s like this world expects so much from me.
I’m supposed to walk the Earth with my chest puffed out like a meteor speeding through the stars
I’m supposed to like basketball, baseball, and Barstool Sports with a burning passion, but I don’t.
I’m supposed to stay shredded ‘cause then I’ll attract whomever, but I stay skinny and barely eat.
I’m supposed to laugh when the boys mention the millionth girl that they’ve played like an
And one of the big ones, if it weren’t obvious, lies in how I manage my emotions.
‘Cause I got a ballsack, I’m expected to keep shit bottled-up, keep it inside, never sharing it with
And God forbid, if I express any sort of femininity, I’m referred to as a “bitch” or a “pussy.”
I can’t like poetry, ‘cause that’s too gay.
I can’t just be friends with girls, ‘cause I gotta be carelessly fuckin’ ‘em instead
I can’t listen to sad music, lest I be seen as a depressed fool.
So much more comes about.
I’m a Christian, so I’m supposed to be so many things – pro-life, anti-LGBTQ+, for example.
But I ain’t any of those things, since that’s not what my Christ would want.
Thus I crave my own destiny, desire my own road to travel down, one that’s different even from
And you bet I’m doing it, because I need these people to know the multitudes behind my eyes,
the truths that reign in my mind.
You bet I’m doing it ‘cause I hate stereotypes and expectations; I hate conformity, and I abhor
going “by the book.”
I’m gonna do it all my own way, and you better know that I’ll be having fun as I do.
Forget the institutions;
Forget the patriarchy;
Forget masculinity as a whole.
I am a poet that’s past all that pathetic poison.
I’m gonna resist it all, and you’re gonna watch me do it.
Thank you, and come again for wise words from this annoyed human being.



Karliey Swank, 13 years old, Williams Intermediate


No, she said

As he came closer

No, she said

As he wouldn't leave

No, she said

as she felt him on her

No, she said

As she tried to scream


As women of the place called earth,

We try to run and scream,

But all we get from the ones who criticize us,

Is told we should Resist


The White Rose: The Student Resistance Against Hitler, Munich 1942-1943 will be on display at the German American Heritage Center from through February 12, with regular venue hours Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Exhibit entrance is free with $3-5 museum admission, and more information is available by calling (563)322-8844 and visiting

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