BHS students attended Mass Poetry’s Student Day of Poetry on Friday, April 29 in beautifully historic Salem, MA. The event kickstarted the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.
Students were able to select and attend two writing-generative workshops. Workshops attended by BHS students and staff included:
BEAST MODE: BE A BEAST Jamele Adams aka Harlym 1two5 | Salem Five Community Room
By the time we are done, we would have moved the world a little bit and reimagined the lines by which poetry is defined. Writing is the spark that ignites flames of thought; thus your poetry leaves a trail of blue flames-the core of any fire. A kaleidoscope of creativity unleashed and unveiled “write” from you. Let us begin.
GREAT NEWS! Jennifer Jean | Hawthorne Library
“It is difficult/ to get the news from poems,” wrote poet William Carlos Williams, “Yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.” In this workshop we’re going to make it easy for folks to get the news from poems—we’re going to write our own “poem-responses” to items featured in the global news. Not only will you learn about free-verse- poetry-writing- basics in this workshop (about how to write poems containing: potent language, vivid imagery and powerful lines), we’ll also discuss example poem-responses, various approaches to the poem-response, as well as the biggest news items of the day.
GET YOUR ODE ON Laurin Macios | Hawthorne Ballroom – Room 1
There are few things more satisfying than talking about what we love. Writing about what we love might be one of them! Whether it’s a person, possession, food, or a value, cause, or moral you hold dear, let’s explore and glorify it together in this workshop on odes. We will read poems by Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, and more, for inspiration.
POETRY AND POP CULTURE M.P. Carver | Hawthorne Essex
This workshop will focus on contemporary poets dealing with contemporary issues. We’ll discuss what makes a “good” subject for a poem, and read and discuss a variety of poems by poets writing now incorporating all kinds of modern references from Ke$ha to the war in Syria to twitter. At the end of the workshop, we’ll try and write some poems of our own!
GAME OF POEMS: IMPROVISATION, CHANCE, AND SURREALIST PLAY IN POETRY Noah Burton | Hawthorne Ballroom – Room 2
From painters and musicians to inventors of ancient sports and third generation video games, play and experimentation has always been an energetic core at the center of any creative work—it leaps and throws, laughs and dives, all while trying to keep up with the speed of our imaginations. In this workshop we will look at and try out a handful of different games and obstacle courses that poets have played and ran through to craft wonderfully adventurous poems.
“It was very educational and taught me a lot about writing and the writing process. I also enjoyed the opportunity to express my creativity,” freshman Sasha Festi said.
The event also offered students a chance to hear poets read and discuss their work. The culminating moment of the day was an open-mic session during which students could read poems they had begun drafting throughout the day in front of a large audience. Senior Timmy Sullivan, freshman Julianna Grossman, senior Lorraine Kanyike, and senior Gabby Goullette were selected to share their original pieces. Bout organizer Tony Toledo bestowed each one with a coin to commemorate the experience.
Attendance at the event also guaranteed students a free pass to attend all of the weekend’s festivities. A full schedule of events can be seen here.