A Poetry Café

North Shore Middle School 8th grade English students spent several weeks looking at the world like poets.  Teacher Jessica Donovan said, “Our students created collections of poems they found engaging, shared them with each other, and then used them as inspiration for their own powerful writing. Challenging themselves to use imagery, symbolism, allusion and other devices.”

The 8th grade poets drafted original poetry that included themes both humorous and foreboding. Ms. Donovan added, “Our poets shared their impressions on topics ranging from nature, family, and love, to school and social change. Additionally, they philosophized, dreamed, and imagined, creating metaphors for their lives and ours.”

The Poetry Café was the culminating celebration of many weeks of literary study for the eighth graders. An English classroom at the middle school was turned into a “jazzy café” where student poets could sit back, read a poem, listen to jazz music and the poems of their peers, and order a lemonade via table service. The students cheered quietly for their fellow poets by snapping their fingers in appreciation!  Ms. Donovan concluded by saying, “We were honored to serve such an eloquent group of patrons at the Don Bonbrialerman’s Downtown Café. It took courage and creativity to get up in front of their friends and fellow eighth graders and read their original poems. Look for our chapbooks at the Celebration of Student Work this Spring 2018.”

Many thanks to the following faculty and staff for provided such an authentic and rewarding learning experience for our students: Noel Imbriale, Kristie Lieberman, Jessica Donovan, Sue McLaughlin, Sam Boniberger, and Amanda Haleiko.

Article by Shelly Newman with assistance from Ms. Jessica Donovan, Photos by Shelly Newman

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