The power of poetry club

Anna Gulyas, Copy Editor

The poetry club meets on the front lawn every Tuesday, allowing for critiques and support towards members’ personal poems.

The members are given a different prompt each week and roughly thirty minutes to write a poem based on it, which they will then share out. However, many members deem it more beneficial to share a piece they have been working on prior to that day’s meeting. After reading their poem, other members share their thoughts and criticisms.

“Each person who reads before calls on people afterward, and they get feedback on their poem,” Poetry club advisor and english teacher Harry Campion said. “I encourage everybody to take notes while someone’s reading. We try to make poems better and sometimes the prompt will turn into something someone’s proud of.”

According to Campion, the poetry club has been running for about seventeen years and was initially created after he was introduced to poetry slams from a previous student and now close friend.

“I had heard of poetry slams but I didn’t know anything about them,” Campion said. “We (Campion and his former student) started getting people involved and my students were intrigued enough, so they were like, ‘Hey can we have a (poetry) slam?’”

In addition to having weekly workshops, the club occasionally participates in poetry slams at the library, as well as even going on trips to places like Mackinac Island for competitions.

“I’ve participated in the (poetry) slams since my sophomore year,” Fourth-year poetry club member Lily Dingeman ’21 said. “I didn’t really participate (in them) last year, I was more of the person kind of running things, but I used to do them and I loved every second of them.”

These trips and activities pose as very valuable, as they are unique learning opportunities in which participants can work with many people from all different areas.

“(Going on trips) is a really impactful experience because you get to travel, and you get to get closer to these people,” member Eleanor Campion ’22 said. “Also you get to experience other people’s writing and teaching styles.”

Several members agreed that throughout their years in the club, they developed countless memories, however, the most prominent ones stemmed from their beginning days in the club.

“I honestly liked my first (meeting) that I ever came to (the best),” Dingeman said. “I just met so many people, and honestly my first workshop was probably my favorite because I was just immediately treated with so much kindness.”

Overall, the members agreed that the club has significantly enhanced their writing skills and has offered them a comfortable space to explore their emotions while simultaneously improving their writing.

“The opening up (of my emotions to the club) took a lot of time, particularly because when I started writing I didn’t have a lot to say,” Eleanor Campion said. “And then it just developed when I started having different crises about different things and was like, ‘I need to express this.’ I found a really safe space that I’ve gotten used to, and I know that I’m going to get feedback on my writing and if I need help, they’ll help me.”