Broadway Books was packed last night with friends and family supporting fifteen student writers from Benson High School. Most of the pieces were poetry, but the tone, emotion, and content varied widely between pieces. Two students did an impromptu piece, taking turns with each sentence, telling a story about a frog attempting to order coffee. Another student wrote a brave piece about the complexities of being a Hispanic American in today’s reality–she spoke of pride in her heritage and fear for her family, despite them all being American citizens. Teacher Michaela McNairy also shared poetry that she wrote during WITS writer Britt Ashley’s residency. Ashley also shared poetry, and WITS writer Bettina de Leon Barrera, who worked in Ilsa Bruer’s classroom, shared a collaborative poem written by students and a “fresh” poem she’d written the day before.
We want to thank all the friends and parents who came out and supported, Ms. Bruer and Ms. McNairy for hosting residencies, and the WITS writers for sharing their work and supporting students. As always, thanks to Broadway Books for staying open late and continuing to be a fabulous host for student readings. Last but not least, a huge thanks to the brave students who shared their work. We look forward to printing Benson students’ work in the WITS anthology!