[by Alex Corey]
On February fourth, thirteen students from Madison High School joined together at Bipartisan Café to read their work in front of a packed room of over thirty audience members. Students read poetry about their families, work, school, and about life outside of school, sometimes in other countries. One student from Kenya read a poem about using a twig from a “toothbrush tree” before coming to America where toothbrushes abound, and expressed a love for brushing teeth no matter the tool used. Another student read a line about being wrapped around someone’s finger only to wish it would fall off, which brought big laughs from the audience. All students read their diverse and often personal work with conviction. One of Madison’s teachers, Erin Tillery, read a piece about the hardships of learning to bake a pie. Four other adults also shared their work, including Madison’s two writers-in-residence: Turiya Autry and Amanda Gersh. Over the course of the semester, the Madison writers-in-residence guided their students through writing exercises to ultimately produce pieces such as those which students enthusiastically performed that evening.
Thank you to the student writers, participating teachers Jennifer Edelson, Alicia Smith, and Erin Tillery, our WITS liaison Alicia Smith, Principal Petra Callin, and Bipartisan Café for hosting the event. We look forward to publishing the student work in the upcoming anthology.