Poetry Power to empower Hawks to share, appreciate original poetry

This year’s Poetry Power starts at 3:15 p.m. December 7 in the Media Center.

Jodee Capati, Staff Writer

Poetry Power is an open mic event that allows both students and staff to share their personal poetic writing.

“We (staff) inspire the students, and the students inspire us as well,” said Therese Loncaric, special education department, who created the event last year along with Terri Berkowitz, Media Center department chair, and English Teacher Marc Mantasoot.

The event was created in order  to celebrate National Poetry Month. Loncaric created the event to honor National Poetry Month but also as a way to showcase student- and staff-created poetry.

“[Loncaric] did approach me to ask if we would be interested in holding an event here in the library. We have a lot of books about poetry, so it seemed like a good fit,” said Berkowitz.

Share, promote, and celebrate: this event was purposefully created with these ideas in mind. The goal is to share the crafts made by students and staff, promote the goodness that poetry brings to the lives of listeners and creators, and celebrate the wonders that poetry could bring into the world.

“We just want to showcase the beauty and language of poetry and word rhythms. My notion is to get a creative buzz around poetry and get people to read poetry, who aren’t your [typical] readers of poetry,” Loncaric said.

This event features students who are willing to speak out their poems. Whether it may be a personal issue, political statement, or a diverse topic, all poems will be applauded and appreciated.  

Poetry can be emotional, or can focus in on a specific time in one’s life, said Loncaric. “That’s what I like about poetry; it has many possibilities.” 

The event will also offer some competition. Awards will be given to those who successfully meet the judging criteria.  

“We evaluate them through the quality of the poems, does it have good rhythms, or the depth of the subject the storytelling, and we also look at the well-edited poems,” Loncaric said.

A new award will also be introduced: “Best Dramatic Interpretation.” This will be awarded to those students who read a published poem.

Berkowitz considers this event to be an opportunity for both students and adults, as it offers the opportunity to showcase their talent to the community. This is also considered an opportunity for the audience to hear the writing of their peers.

“I think it’s a terrific way for  students to express themselves,” said Berkowitz. As for Loncaric, she hopes to expand the poetry community and to have more poets.

“I think we keep expanding. My hope is to keep building an audience for poetry, a love of language, and an appreciation for all the expressive and evocative elements of poetry,” she said.