Celebrating Poetry in the Parker Community

Poetry lovers from the faculty, student, alumni and parent/guardian community recently came together in the Kovler Family Library to celebrate Poetry Month and the robust culture of poetry at the school.

Those interested in developing their poetic voices participated in a workshop with English faculty Alicia Abood and David Fuder. First, Fuder asked participants to compose a 24-word message from their hearts; next, he asked writers to eliminate 12 words and later an additional six words to help all appreciate the power of word choice and how an economy of words affects the poetic process. Abood used imagery as prompts in her exercise, inviting writers to select a photo from those she provided and encouraging them to consider what that image might be saying to them. Abood provided a range of prompts to help start the process, including focusing on details, redeveloping the image in words, placing one’s self in the scene or taking on the identity of a person in their image. After each of these assignments, participants shared their work and spoke about their process.

More people filled the space in anticipation of the poetry-reading component of the evening, featuring English students and members of the Slam Poetry team sharing original work along with Principal Dan Frank, parents and alumni. Some readers offered up work from the poetry workshop, while others presented work they had written previously.

Reflecting upon the success of the evening, Abood commented, “It was wonderful to hear poems from students and community members, and it felt energizing and inspiring to hear from poets who shared a poem they’d been working on for a stretch of time alongside other writers willing to read something they’d written no less than an hour earlier.” Fuder said, “Poetry never fails to remind us of our human connection, and it felt wonderful to be together again, writing, sharing and listening to some wonderful poems.”

Thanks to all involved for making this event such a success!

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.