In 1996, in an effort to inspire poetry writing and readership among people of all ages, as well as support American poets, April was designated National Poetry Month. Ross School recently showed its appreciation for this unique literary form by planning poetry-related activities and events for the students.
During a high school community meeting on April 24, poet Lucas Hunt was invited to speak to grades 9–12 in the Court Theater. Lucas has published two critically acclaimed poetry collections, Lives and Light on the Concrete. His poetry has been praised for its treatment of the unique attributes of commonplace subjects. Lucas asked the students to think about their definition of poetry, then read some of his own work.
Earlier in the month, students on both campuses participated in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Carrying a poem that they either liked or wrote themselves, the students received small prizes for reading their poems aloud to a teacher. Several read original works, including seventh grader Emily Costello, who wrote “The Secret Sits,” and eighth grader Will Cassou, who wrote an untitled poem in English and Chinese. In both the sixth and eighth grade library classes, “We devoted the entire class to reading poetry out loud selected by students from books on display in the library and prizes were distributed,” said middle school librarian Laura Engel. “I also showed them several videos of different poets reading their poetry.”
In the Café, posters defining various types of poetry adorned the windows, and books of poetry placed on each table invited diners to browse through them during meals. Students in art teacher Jon Mulhern’s middle school elective also painted new poems on the flat stones that decorate the Café tables, as previous poems had faded away with time.