Eleven students (not in order) participated in the reading, including sophomores Hannah Looby, Dustin and Owen Schoenfeld, Macey Sprague, John Doyle, junior Charlotte Staats; and seniors Alexa Mitchell, Delaney Sears, Ethan Markwica, and Ellexus Vaughn.
In an evening of rhythm, allegory, life, alliteration, heartbreak, joy, disappointments, and wisdom students and veteran poets shared their pieces for the fifth annual Poetry Extravaganza.
Westport Central school poetry students from Scott Gibbs class and members of the Westport Poetry Group gathered at the Westport Library on June 14 to showcase their work at the closing of the school year.
“It’s an opportunity for people in the town and the school to get together in a positive way,” Judith Moore, member of the poetry group said.
Eleven students participated in the reading: sophomores Hannah Looby, Dustin and Owen Schoenfeld, Macey Sprague, John Doyle, junior Charlotte Staats, and seniors Alexa Mitchell, Delaney Sears, Ethan Markwica, and Ellexus Vaughn.
The students wrote about their experiences
Gibbs, who has been teaching poetry for over 20 years was honored by the students for his upcoming retirement with a song about creating poetry written. The song was written by poet Ann Gleck and performed by Gleck and the students.
“He Helped you open the doors to your closet, take the memories of off your shelf, place them on the floor around you to better look at yourself,” the group sang.
The students wrote pieces that reflected their personality such as Sprague’s poem titled “Shyness,” where she described the emotion with visual characteristics: “Shyness is pretty in her own way,” Sprague read. “Pale Colors like a rainbow fading back into the sky.”
Other pieces grabbed the attention with the first line such as Spears’ poem titled “Overlooking is part of our society.” As she finished the piece’s title her first line went on as “I wouldn’t be surprised if you overlooked this poem, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, because this poem is a distraction to your guilt.” Some audience members laughed but most were instantly engaged.
As Vaughn read her poem titled “A perfect world” she read ”What if we lived in a world where apologizing wasn’t such a hassle, doing a favor didn’t make you think twice and racism didn’t exist.” As audience members listened silently they heard her version of what this world could look like through her eyes.
Scott Gibbs, who teaches high school English said the event has always been a way to take what the students write in class and bring it into the world.
“These events are a way of trying to bring the poetry to life and try to have some fun with it,” Gibbs said.
The poetry reading is a wonderful way for the community to become aware of “how really wonderful their work is,” Gibbs said.
The Westport Poetry Group meets on the third Thursday of each month, for more information or to participate contact the Westport Library at 962-8219.
Goodbyes to Park
Special recognition was given to Soyoung Park, an exchange student from Laos who has attended WCSD for the past year.
“Soyoung, who epitomizes grace and serenity and has taken whatever we throw at her and has done it with grace,” Gibbs said.
Park said that she will be on her way to Los Angeles before heading back to Laos. After coming from living in a big city she said she has really enjoyed the small town of Westport.
“I’ve really liked the small town better and I’m going to miss everyone and hopefully visit soon,” Park said.
Mary Ann Hebrink, Park’s family mom said she will cry when they brink Park to the airport.