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Youth Programs

WITS End-of-Residency Reading at Parkrose High School

by Cassie Duncanson

After the final bell rung at Parkrose High School, a dedicated group of students from Ms. Doina Moldovan’s English classes gathered in the library to participate in a Literary Arts WITS student reading. The students spent a portion of their semester working with authors Zulema Renee Summerfield working on poetry or with Mark Pomeroy working on short stories.

Students exhibited their skills with extended metaphor poems, identity poems, list poems and even emoji poems.

The reading opened with a powerful poem about mirrors and the different images they reveal—a piece about bullies and victims.

The afternoon continued with a poem that made the observation of life being like a song—how the author saw life as lyrical, repetitive, rhyming, and unexpected.

Students had a variety of insights, utilizing creative turns of phrase. One student used precious stones to describe and unpack the world. Another student used their background as a dancer to look at the world through the lens of dancing. They considered how rhythm, repetition, and choreography play a part in every day life, even when one isn’t a dancer.

One student opted to read the opening to a fantastical short story, while another read a personal poem about their home.

Ms. Moldovan read a poem that she began from one of the writing exercises in her class that combined two forms: the extended metaphor poem and the list poem. Ms. Summerfield and Mr. Pomeroy also read this afternoon. Ms. Summerfield read a powerful student poem that utilized everyday details to discuss recent political events. Mr. Pomeroy’s essay took a similar approach and recalled what it was like to teach high school students after the events of Sandy Hook.

We’re very thankful to Parkrose High School Library for hosting the reading. We’d also like to thank the students for their bravery in sharing their work, and the WITS writers and teachers for their support. We’re very excited to see Parkrose High students add their unique voices to the WITS anthology!

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