Library hosts poetry workshops to celebrate National Poetry Month


Ben Schneider

Juniors Vanessa Wigfall and Layla Vega work on paint chip poems during the second poetry workshop.

For the second year in a row, the Clover Hill librarians hosted weekly poetry workshops in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. The librarians each hosted one workshop, where they chose a type of poetry and showed students how to write it. 

According to librarian Cassidy Capuano, this year’s workshops are a continuation of the celebrations of National Poetry Month that began last year, and they are only one part of the library’s month-long festivities. 

“In addition to some passive programming and the poetry contest, we last year started to do the weekly poetry workshops to just some students engaged and exposed to some different types of poetry,” Capuano said. “I know a lot of English teachers do poetry in their classes, [so] we just tried to add on to that and give [students] an extra opportunity to be creative.”

The library held the workshops every Wednesday, although they had to shift some to other days depending on the schedules. 

“We got to do three of them,” Capuano said. “That gave each of us, meaning myself, Mrs. [Heidi] Williams and Miss B [library aide Kat Bogdanowicz] an opportunity to each pick whatever kind of poetry we wanted to focus on.” 

The topics of the workshops were poetry exploration, paint chip poetry and blackout poetry.

“The first one was poetry exploration,” Capuano said. “I tried to focus on five or six kinds of random or unique poetry that people haven’t heard of before. The second workshop was paint chip poetry that Mrs. Williams put together, and it’s using the colored paint chips as a means of inspiration for poetry. Then [the last one] was blackout poetry.”

Freshman Ava Graves attended all three of the poetry workshops. She enjoyed all three, but the last one was her favorite.

“[The best] was the blackout poetry,” Graves said. “We had a random piece of paper and we got to choose different words from the writing [to make part of the poem.” 

In addition to the poetry workshop, the library also organized a poetry contest where students submitted their work. This year was the second annual contest. 

“[The contest] is another way for us to promote creativity and poetry, especially since a lot of classes are really focusing on poetry [during National Poetry Month],” Capuano said. “So we’re just trying to provide another way for students to be involved. And it’s been great last year and this year, we’ve had a lot of students submit that are our typical library goers. So it’s been a way to get students involved in the library outside of books and reading. Last year we had 30 submissions and this year [we had around the same]. Of course, it’s very subjective, as with all writing, but we pick winners at the end and reward them.”

Many of the students who created poetry during the workshop chose to submit their work to the contest, creating a connection between the library’s poetry month programs. 

“I think after each workshop this year we had a couple of students submit those poems that they created during the workshop for the poetry contest,” Capuano said. “So it was kind of a double dip.”