Poetry Reading provides a personal look at Walpole students


Luke Witherell

Photo Credit: Tim Markatos[imagebrowser id=6]

Talking and excitedly and drinking Starbucks coffee various Walpole High School students gathered at the Walpole Mall’s Barnes and Noble Cafe to listen to poems and gain insight into their peers’ freedom of expression. Some came to socialize, some came to support their school, and still a third group stood nervously, waiting to express themselves in front of their peers. All of these students had come together for the Walpole High School Poetry Reading, on Tuesday, Novemeber 23, an annual fundraiser and  creative outlet for Walpole students.

The night began with a brief introduction from Walpole English teacher Mr. Michael Alan, who organized the event and recruited students to recite and write poems. As he talked, members of the Walpole High Literary Magazine club gave attendees books with printed versions of the evening’s poems. The club, organized by Mr. Alan, also compiled the poems for the books and helped print them. During the introduction as well, students had the chance to purchase coffee and baked goods from the Starbucks Cafe, for which a percentage of the proceeds were donated to Walpole High.

After Mr. Alan finished speaking, the reading began. First, students from the Career and Ed program stepped up to read their poems. After they finished, other high school students read their poems—some of them members of Mr. Alan’s Creative Writing classes, some just students with a desire to share their poetry with peers. Throughout the 90 minute reading, the audience received intimate glimpses at the lives of Walpole students, through personal poems about first loves and lost loves, peace and paranoia, anger and sadness. Some poets even wrote about family and friends who were in the audience.

Commenting on the poetry reading senior Sabrina Dorronsoro said, “Creative outlets are important, and poetry is one of the best creative outlets. By reading poems, students are setting a great example for their families and fellow students.” The Poetry Reading, much like Walpole High School’s Film Festival, presents an opportunity for students to share their gifts and show their school spirit in a way that is non-athletic and allows those who might not otherwise participate to contribute. The long lasting tradition the poetry reading has created keeps people from all over the town coming back to the Barnes and Noble Cafe to see high schoolers recite their poems.

Both Barnes and Noble and Walpole High made money, and the audience was entertained. More importantly, however, the audience  learned from the poets and gain new insight into the lives of people who they thought they knew. And, most importantly, poets were able to share their experiences and deepen their relationships with their friends and family. The night was a success for poets, organizers, and attendees, all of whom are undoubtedly looking forward to next November’s reading and a chance to experience another exceptional night.