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Sophomore writes songs, poetry to express herself

Gwyneth Rennell ’18 has been writing songs and poetry to express her views. She recently participated in the South Poetry Slam in April.

By Riley Lynch ’18 | Feature Editor

Late into the night, Gwyneth Rennell ’18 was up writing, determined to finish her short story.  Rennell considers herself a creative writer, forming stories, poetry and her opinions on scrap pieces of paper as well as her laptop.


“I’ve been writing little short stories and whatnot since I was young,” Rennell said. “But I really started learning about writing and taking it seriously when I started taking Creative Writing with Mr. Campion.”


Rennell said while the majority of her work is poetry and short stories, she’s also written songs, despite their time-consuming nature.


“The bulk of what I write is what people would call slam poetry, but I call it a lot of eloquently-phrased ranting,” Rennell said. “I’ve written a small handful of songs, but I’m much more picky with them, and getting the guitar part written is always a challenge, so not too many.”


Rennell started writing in second grade, her mother, Lisa Rennell said. Lisa said Gwyneth always shared her stories with the family, who all support her. In addition, Gwyneth started playing guitar at a young age, using her older brother’s instrument.  She received her own first guitar that was her own this Christmas, and performed a song she wrote at the Class of 2018 Coffee House.


Finding inspiration in online poets and other stories is one of her specialities, Rennell said.


“(My biggest inspiration is) every single poet featured on Vancouver Poetry Slams Youtube channel,” Rennell said. “The poems on that channel are so beautifully spoken and emotional and well-done.  It was the first time I saw what I could really do with the words I scribbled down.”


Rennell’s mother said she finds inspiration in her daughter.  


“Her commitment to school and the work of it is something I deeply admire,”  Lisa said. “As well, her interest in the world around her and the openness of her mind to serious issues such as diversity, politics and the struggles and needs of others, delights and indeed inspires me and gives me incredible hope.”


Lisa also said writing and music are a core part of her family, and Gwyneth is deeply rooted in these interests.  Gwyneth said her writing genre varies, ranging from realistic fiction to science fiction.  


Some of Rennell’s favorite books are “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini, “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.


Griffin Jones ‘18 has known Rennell since early childhood, and says he’s inspired by Gwyneth and her ability to conquer tough subjects.


“Gwyneth Rennell has some of the largest potential out of the entire sophomore class to become a professional writer,” Jones said. “She takes ordinary assignments and goes all-out to express her passion for the art.”


Jones says Rennell tackled mature subjects including rape in her previous Creative Writing assignments and said this is what makes Gwyneth strong of character.


“Gwyneth is strong, but she’s also gentle; stubborn but open-minded; dedicated but she makes time for the people that need her,” Jones said.  “If it’s her dream to write, she will write.”


Her mother agrees, and says she can’t wait to see what her daughter does in life.  


“Her will and spirit are ever-present and will serve her well to be sure,” Lisa said. “She is a joy and a gem. When she smiles, I smile.”


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