by Jonah Besenty | staff writer
National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. The campus celebrates National Poetry Month by doing blackout poetry, an event that takes place the entire month of April. Blackout poetry is a form of poetry where you take a page from a book and cross out words with a black marker to make a poem. the campus celebrates it in other ways as well.
“It is a celebration around the world to celebrate poetry and a time to encourage poetry in classrooms, schools, libraries, at home, and to raise awareness of poetry. It’s mostly promoted in school, people use it to bring awareness as a genre, because it’s sometimes looked over. When people are aware of poetry they can sometimes find their creative juices within themselves, and write their own, which is what we’re trying to do,” librarian Haley Schmidt said
When doing blackout poetry students can use pages from the books that are out for everyone to use, not library books, there is a stack of pages that have already been torn out, or they can bring a page from a book they have at home
“Blackout poetry is where you take a book page from another book that’s already been published and created, then you blackout words, leaving other words. The words that you leave create a poem, completely separate from the actual book the story came from,” Schmidt said.
The blackout poetry event is not a contest, but if students participate in the event they might be able to learn something new, and have their poem featured on the library’s front desk. Teachers can participate as well.
“People have been surprised, thinking it would be hard and found it easy, and people who thinking it would be easy found it more difficult than they had thought. The best one so far was submitted by World Geo teacher, David Christie, he was one of the people who said it was difficult, and he surprised himself and wrote a really good poem,” Schmidt said.
In addition to this, teachers have been doing other things to contribute to National Poetry Month.
“We encourage students to engage with poetry year round, so we have a poetry intensive unit at the beginning of the school year, and then we always come back and relate to poetry, either creatively, or analytically. S, my students meet once a week, they write a poem inspired either by the novel that we are reading, or the time period they were studying, something related and connected to poetry,” English teacher Daniel Farias said. “Sometimes, I’ll have a mentor text, where they have to emulate the style and structure of the poet, and sometimes it’s more along the lines of, here’s the concept you can create the poem however you want.”
Teachers encourage students to engage in poetry since some believe that it’s not very popular in society anymore.
“Poetry, is a dying art in our society. So, it’s a good way to reintroduce the concept to people who may be unfamiliar with it. It’s also a great way to engage students with different poets and different types of poetry, emotional intelligence, creativity, and people being able to express themselves in ways they’re not traditionally used to,” Farias said.