by Mel Wells
We wrapped up our WITS student readings for the fall semester with Cleveland High School at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. It was a fun, intimate reading, which was perfect for the tone of the pieces everyone shared. WITS writer A.M. O’Malley helped host, as she is the new Executive Director of the IPRC (Congrats, A.M.!), and she also shared several of her erasure poems. O’Malley worked in two of Cleveland teacher Eric Levine’s freshman classes, and Eric came to the reading to support the students who read. WITS writer Ramiza Koya read both her own work and the work of a student she had worked with in Cleveland teacher Stefanie Goldbloom’s English Language Development class. This class focused on memoir, and many of the students had written poignant family stories. Stefanie also shared one of these pieces for a student who attended, but didn’t feel ready to read in front of a crowd–he received a big round of applause for a powerful piece. Stefanie also read some of her own work, noting that it was a pleasure to be a student in her own class. The reading was a wonderful celebration and a great way to end the fall WITS residencies.
Now we’re looking forward to reading the anthology submissions from students who produced pieces during the fall semester residencies! We’ll also be having spring readings, so stay tuned for more great events with WITS!