Annual festival celebrates student poetry


Olivia Rounsaville

Guest Speaker David Nyquist announces the Convent High School Poetry competition winner, Celeste Roam. Winners were told to stand so they could be recognized by their peers.

Olivia Rounsaville, Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE Students read original works and the English department announced winners of the annual poetry competition at the  Poetry Festival in the Syufy Theatre on April 30 celebrating National Poetry Month.

The all-school winner was freshmen Celeste Roam for Convent High School and freshman Toby Slater for Stuart Hall High School.

“There are so many words in the English language,” Roam said. “Poetry can help you illustrate those feelings in a way that can make it easier for people to understand.”

Ten students volunteered to contribute to the poetry festival and share their personal pieces to the audience. SHHS Head of School Tony Farrell competed in an insult battle with senior Trevor Blanc to try to make each other laugh, with Farrell winning the showdown.

“I think that poetry is one of the few media that can express the human experience in a way that everyone can relate to,” senior Jessica Louie, who read poetry at the assembly, said. “Human life is really paradoxical in the fact that it’s deeply individual but poetry is a shared experience for everyone.”

English teachers announced the three winners in each grade and division and Guest speaker David Nyquist announced two All-School winners.

“We highlight athletes, musicians and academic awards but this is really unique,” English teacher Julia Arce said. “I think the poetry festival is really important because it allows somebody to share their voice and inspire other people in the audience to want to share as well.”

Nyquist also spoke about his first-hand experience with writing his own poetry.

“I think this festival is actually one of the most embodied examples of robust vulnerability because when you share from your heart you risk exposure and sometimes misinterpretation, Arce said. “But when you deepen your vulnerability, you also might deepen your courage and strength.”

This year’s winners are freshmen Madeline St. James (1st), Sage Gould (2nd) and Lily Peta (3rd); sophomores Tabitha Parent (1st), Sofia Houts (2nd) and Kate Baker (3rd); juniors Miley Sherman (1st), Arlena Jackson (2nd) and Isabella Parmenter (3rd) and seniors Angela Chao (1st), Poppy Cohen (2nd) and Mason Cooney (3rd).