I love the first day of March, which marks, in my mind (and sometimes only in my mind), the end of cold weather.
Writers Week Highlights Day 2 Tuesday
Before I forget, a highlight from Monday I neglected to mention. Best question from audience: “In poetry, is reason more important than rhyme?” And this was asked to a panel of students, who all had thoughtful answers. I felt lucky to be there to witness the exchange.
As for today, I’d venture this: no other school in the country, aside from Hazelwood West High School near St. Louis, that runs its own Writers Week, showcased so much talent from so many corners of the school. Here’s the rundown of speakers who read their writing: the principal, an English teacher’s father, an English teacher, a social studies teacher, two math teachers (yes, math), and 28 students. Topics and themes: farming, an uncle’s last breath, a grandfather’s racism, a Christmas letter, a multigenerational love letter to ancestors and the beloved land they lost, a nasty cyst, volunteering last summer on an organic farm in Canada. All this from the teachers and principal.
Among students, the most memorable subjects included: being a nerd, a trip to India, how teens think everything is the end of the world, being comfortable in one’s own skin (on scoliosis), cultural identity.
Just hearing about such variety makes you want to be there, yes? Students are allowed only five minutes each on stage (because so many want to share their work), but they make the best of their time. Each of them takes a risk in sharing their writing. And I feel privileged.