Walpole High Students Read Original Writing at Annual Poetry Reading


A Walpole High Student reads her original writing during the Poetry Reading.

Andrea Lee

A Walpole High Student reads her original writing during the Poetry Reading.

Radio commercials, bullying, bubbles, hate, and AP Calculus—these were just a few of the plethora of topics that students wrote poems about to perform at the Poetry Reading. This year’s Reading, an annual event that is coordinated by Mr. Michael Alan, proved to be very successful as parents, students, and alumni alike filled the Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble on November 19th. Those in attendance listened to their classmates read their original poetry, which varied from fun and carefree to sad and emotional, in the relaxed setting of the coffee shop.

Music welcomed the guests in as an opening to the poetry reading; senior Isabella Caraccioli performed a set and, afterwards, so did senior Caleb Cofsky and junior Andrew Hazerjian. The music not only was entertaining for all attending but added to the calm atmosphere. Afterwards, Mrs. Ann Marie Kennedy and Mr. Alan introduced the night, noting the amount of students in the Creative Writing class that were going to be reading poetry, along with other students who did not take the class but wanted to participate with their original writing.

Some of the poets chose to write about happier subjects that created light, entertaining writing pieces. Junior Leslie Hill’s first poem was about the joy of popping bubbles as she reflected on the fun of youth and growing up. Fellow junior Valerie Lancy read her poem about falling in love with her best friend, and her optimism was apparent in her voice. Another poet, junior Meg Driscoll, read a poem that she wrote about her sister, which proved to be a crowd pleaser. Senior Keiko Ivinson, who played a prominent role in helping organize the event along with Alan, read a poem about the wonders of art in the world. “It was a lot of fun,” said Ivinson. “It was a great experience and I’m really glad that Mr. Alan gave not only the creative writing students, but all the students at WHS the opportunity to be able to express ourselves through poetry.”

The funniest poems or poets that got the most laughs from the crowd were seniors Daria Grady, Jungbin Lim, and John Montaquila.  Grady engaged the audience by talking about her experience with a horrible car radio commercial—1-877-KARS-4-KIDS. Lim read a poem about AP Calculus, comparing the class to being sailors “cruising through the maelstrom of drowsiness.” Seniors in the audience, particularly those who understood the experience by being in the same class, laughed throughout the reading at the comic poem. Montaquila was the last poet of the night; even though some of his poems were serious, his personality itself during the introductions of the poems was enough to get the audience laughing and enjoying his work; he was noted by Alan as a crowd favorite.

Not all of the poems were this carefree; a majority of the readers wrote about very sad or dark experiences and thoughts. Junior Genevieve Canavan followed this path as she read a poem about a bully victim that eventually took his life, and Junior Gracie Nelson talked about her experience of moving as a child. Some of the most emotional poems were about family members, and many poets read about their family. Senior Rick Sgalia read a very detailed poem recounting the experience of visiting his mother in the hospital. Another senior, Alison McGourty, got a strong applause from the audience after her poem about the snowglobe her grandfather gave her. Junior Alexa Demarco read several poems, but the most impactful was about her relationship with her mother, which was the most emotional reading of the night. Another junior, Mackenzie Wilson, shocked the crowd with her poem titled “Miss Perfect;” after talking about the fake girl, she ended with the memorable line, “Enjoy your life, Shrew.” Senior Bobby Rose was another crowd pleaser with his poem about hate; he was noticed by Alan as a particularly well done performance.

With more than 30 poems read, the night was a tremendous success and very entertaining. The only disappointment was the absence of known crowd pleaser and junior Adam Finkle; otherwise, the Poetry Reading was a very enjoyable night for students, parents, and even the alumni that came to support the poets. “It’s a very collected group of poets this year,” said Alan; “I thought that they all did very well.”