Last night’s reading for Wilson High School featured a range of genres, from comics to storytelling to poetry. Annie Bloom’s Books continues to be a wonderful venue for brave student writers and warm audiences. The friends, family, and community who came were engaged with each piece, which helped make the reading feel very hygge.
The first-ever WITS residency in storytelling, taught by Courtenay Hameister in Joy Root’s classroom, produced a variety of work from students. One told a funny tale about getting locked out of their room on a cruise ship while only wearing underwear. Another was heart-wrenching: she told of witnessing a friend’s struggle with suicidal impulses. (It had a happy ending!) Some students chose to write fictional pieces, and another wrote a timely personal essay about being subjected to cat-calling while running. Hameister shared her hope that students learned how valuable and important their stories are, and that community is created when we share our vulnerable sides.
The students who worked with Brian Parker, a graphic novelist, shared their comics. They also passed around their work so folks could get a closer look at each piece. Teacher Norman Stremming, who hosted Parker in his classroom, shared a comic from a student who was unable to attend. Parker also shared his own sketchbook and his process creating characters.
Poet and memoirist Amy Minato also taught at Wilson, in two of Keith Higbee’s English classes. The students from her residency read poems and a particularly dramatic piece about the nature of time. Minato also shared work from students who couldn’t attend, but who had written parts of a class encyclopedia of their lives.
It was a lovely evening with a variety of voices, and we want to thank everyone who attended, the courageous student readers, and Annie Bloom’s Books for being a wonderful venue!