High school needs more art and literature


Photo Credit: Zach McCollum

Many students need access to more arts and literature opportunities.

by Zach McCollum, Opinion & Editorial Editor

For many years, the school’s emphasis on the arts has waned, but, recently, acclaimed inaugural poet Richard Blanco came to read poetry to juniors and seniors, reasserting the interest.

Blanco delivered a captivating and powerful performance and proved successful in getting students interested with poetry and the arts in general.

There were also two other events that day ran by Richard Blanco: a luncheon and a workshop. These opportunities gave students the chance to ask Blanco questions and analyze one of his well known poems.

What the administration needs to do is to plan more of these types of assemblies. There is a lack of focus on the arts and a seemingly greater focus on other aspects of student life.

Ms. Patricia Mahoney, English teacher, and Ms. Hartman, media center specialist, who are both very active in the arts and literature, organized this assembly.  Mahoney is also the head of the high school’s literary magazine, Mobius.

Other teachers and faculty should get involved in events such as this one. The school is involved with the performing arts, but bringing literature to the forefront could culture students and improve their knowledge of poetry and prose without joining a club or team.

Many students do not seek out new forms of poetry.  They are often left to read classic poetry from the run of the mill poets such as Robert Frost and Edgar Allen Poe. As influential and timeless as these poets are, students are not exposed to modern day poets like Richard Blanco.

The only way students can participate and listen to professionals read pieces of literature or conduct workshops is through field trips like Teen Arts Festival and Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Other than the workshop and luncheon provided to interested students, there really have not been any opportunities for students to partake in these experiences in-school, and that is something that definitely has to change.