Calhoun Celebrates National Poetry Month

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Calhoun High School students and faculty jumped at the chance to create, perform and listen to poetry throughout the month of April.

The English Department and the library staff created a number of engaging events to help celebrate students’ love of literature and to support creative writers.

The month kicked off with published poet, Billy Lamont, visiting with Ms. Boland’s Creative Writing class for a series of writing workshops and then working with various classes in the library.

Calhoun librarian Kathryn Elefterion created poetry stations in which students could create different types of visual poetry in blocks of time. A few options included blackout poetry, in which students blacked out words in the pages of old books with Sharpies, leaving behind a few words in a brand-new poem; newspaper poems, in which students cut out letters and shapes from magazines and glued them together; and paint chip poems, in which students used the names of the colors to create themed poems. Students surprised themselves with how much fun they had creating poetry in new, different ways.  

Students who wished to read and perform their own original works competed in The Voice: Slam Poetry Style on April 21, a competition in the style of the popular TV show “The Voice.” Thirteen students wrote two original poems, one based on the theme “The Letter Never Delivered,” and performed them without prompts for four teacher coaches, who then selected students for their teams. Several underclassmen took to the Calhoun stage for the first time and dazzled the audience. The event, set up in the Little Theatre, was well-attended by numerous English classes, who ultimately voted Ms. Brill’s team the victor.

Students who wanted to read poetry in a relaxed, less competitive environment had the chance to shine at the Java Room on April 26. Students were encouraged to get up and read their original poems or poetry from published authors before a few classes in an open-mic style setting.
Many English and special education teachers also created poetry mini-units or lessons to celebrate National Poetry Month.

“National Poetry Month is always a tremendous time at Calhoun,” English chairperson Kim Serpe. “Students and teachers maximize the opportunity to celebrate the written and spoken word.”