On celebrating poetry at Greenhills during National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month, which means it’s time once again for the Greenhills community to celebrate a love of language and the power of poetry to move us, to inspire us, and to bring joy to our daily lives. You may well ask the question “Why does poetry matter?” It is a fair question in this day and age of quick tweets and brief texts, but poetry matters because it provides a way for us articulate our most profound emotions with deep attention to every word. It is how we connect, or convey disconnection; it is how we show love, or express fear; it is how we come to know ourselves, or know one another.
Poetry can be challenging, and it can also be fun–after all, poetry is really about being playful with words. The Greenhills English department invites you to participate in our school-wide celebration of National Poetry Month by giving in to the spirit of playfulness and reveling in the process of meaning-making that is at the heart of this endeavor.
–By Kelly Williams, English Department Chair
Here are the events for this year’s Poetry Celebration.
PUBLIC POETRY April 15-25
For two weeks, April 15-25, Greenhills students will have the opportunity to participate in Public Poetry in the cafeteria. There will be a large-scale version of magnetic poetry made from 300 words printed on clear contact paper displayed on the windows of the cafeteria. Students will be able to move the words around to create poems. Public Poetry is a great way to be expressive, spontaneous, and playful with words, accompanied by the knowledge that parents, teachers, visitors, and students of all ages use the cafeteria space.
POETRY AROUND THE SCHOOL April 15-26
There will be poetry available throughout the building. The Greenhills Library will host a poetry display of anthologies and single-author books; students will read famous poems at grade meetings and division assemblies; poems will be read in non-English classes; chalk poems will appear on the sidewalks; and the members of the Evergreen staff will post poems in unexpected places around the school. Keep an eye out for more!
POETRY AT VOICES.GREENHILLSSCHOOL.ORG April 16, 17, & 18
Prompts on the voices.greenhillsschool.org screen in the all-school forum will guide the community in composing short poems. The best from each day will win an iTunes gift card. Submit yours, when the time comes, at voices.greenhillsschool.org
POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY April 18
All students are encouraged to carry a poem in their pocket on this day. Find a poem you like (see www.poetryfoundation.org), print it out, and keep it with you all day. You may be called upon at any point in the day by any teacher or a fellow student to read your poem. At the end of the day, the middle school grade with the most poems still in their pockets in G period will win spirit points. The upper school students with poems in their pockets will win the everlasting respect of their English teachers and the intellectual admiration of their peers.
FINE ARTS EXHIBIT & MCDOWELL SHOWCASE April 22 6 p.m. (theater hallway & theater)
The community is invited to see what Greenhills visual artists have produced this year and to hear McDowell winners read from their winning poems, stories, plays, essays, and articles. Join us for a celebration of the hard work, talent, and creativity of middle and upper school students.
MAGNETIC POETRY COMPETITION April 23 at MS & US lunch
Four students from each grade will compete in a bracket-style poetry competition. Using Magnetic Poetry Kits, students will work in teams of two to create poems on small metal sheets in timed rounds of elimination. English teachers will score poems to determine who will advance to the next round. The winning team will receive iTunes gift cards.
24 HOURS OF POETRY April 24 12:01am
On April 24, beginning at midnight, there will be an online event called 24 HOURS OF POETRY. The goal is to see how many original poems the Greenhills community can write and post in that time frame. The Greenhouse wiki for this event will be open to students, teachers, staff, and parents! Prizes will be awarded for the first posted poem, the funniest poem, the best use of the word gryphon, the best ode to Greenhills, and the best poem about springtime.
POETRY IN EVERY CLASS April 25
To close the Poetry Celebration, teachers in every subject area will be sharing poetry with their classes. This means that students will hear several poems throughout the day to reinforce the way that language not only creates bridges between disciplines of study but also fosters community here at Greenhills.