Get Ready to Recite ‘n Write

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Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff

When Slam Poet, Chris Rockwell came to discuss poetry with the Poetry Club, students listened, asked questions, composed poems, and shared what they wrote.

Keeping It Real, Colonia High School’s very own poetry club, is a relatively new club at Colonia High School since last year that has already gathered quite a few members as well as memories to be cherished. This club was founded by Ms. Danielle Simkovich and Ms. Darragh Spiewak, two Language Arts teacher with a passion for poetry. Poetry club meets on Tuesdays in room 203 every week for the most part and is supervised by Simkovich.

Creation of the Club

Spiewak and Simkovich can both be credited to the beginnings of Keeping It Real. Since they are both Language Arts teachers, poetry is a common interest. Simkovich told us about how she and Spiewak organized a poetry slam amongst two of their classes. It was a fun idea so the two went through with it and by the end of it all an idea was formed. Simkovich enjoyed the experience and wanted to keep competing in poetry slams, but this time against other schools. And thus the idea as well as the notion to make a club that would compete in said poetry slams was created.

All of that only happened a year ago, however it is still fresh in the minds of many members who were there for it. But the creation of Keeping It Real was not the only thing that happened last year that could be considered significant. In reference to its goal, our poetry Club participated in a poetry slam against Woodbridge High School and JFK High School. Keeping It Real ended up placing first in this poetry slam, setting a valiant record for Colonia High School’s poetry club.

Since that time a lot has occurred and these events have set the stage for the present Keeping It Real.

Memorable Moments of the Club

Poetry club has had several memorable moments, such as guest speakers and more poetry slams to compete in. This school year poetry club has had two poets come to visit as well and speak to poetry club members: Gretna Wilkinson and Chris Rockwell.

Dodge Poet Gretna Wilkinson has a doctorate in Literature after studying at Drew University, and as one may have guessed, is also a very prominent poet. She has written many popular poems such as After Divorcing and Shhh…I’m Thinking. She came to Colonia High School on January 14th to enlighten several students as well as members of the Keeping It Real poetry club.

Chris Rockwell is also a very inspiring poet that came to talk directly to members of the poetry club during a club meeting. This year was his second visit to the poetry club, however. He is a very prominent poet in our community. For instance, he will be a judge in the upcoming MC Poetry Slam at the Barron Arts Center this year. That’ll be something to look forward to!

Another event that the Poetry Club competed in this year was the Poetry Out Loud competition. Tenomewah “Lynnette” Murray partook in this prominent poetry slam on February 11th, 2014 as the sole representative of the poetry club. Several Keeping It Real members also came to support Murray in this competition, proving to be a nurturing experience all around.

 

Significance of Poetry Club

Poetry Club is a wonderful opportunity for students not only academically but also personally. Keeping It Real has become very important to a number of its members for many reasons.

“To embrace poetry, be inspired by poetry, to compose poetry, and discuss real issues that’s the goal of this club” ”

— Miss Danielle Simkovich, Club Adviser

Simkovich said in context to what the goals of poetry club are about, “to embrace poetry, to be inspired by poetry, to compose poetry, and discuss real issues.”  Simkovich also mentioned that poetry club meetings have become like a form of group therapy for its members.

Sam Feriera, a freshman at Colonia High School who joined poetry club in the beginning of the school year, also commented on this topic. Sam told us that poetry club gives her a place to go and that the issues discussed during meetings are very important. Figueroa’s goals are, “to compete in a poetry slam and to write better poems.” She intends to reach these goals through the help of her fellow members of Keeping It Real as well as through her own education.

Devon Savage, a current sophomore at Colonia High School who started attending poetry club this year, has been a prominent member of poetry club thus far. Savage believes that poetry club “is a good way to express artistry through writing.” Poetry club offers Savage a release of emotion, and his goals include simply sharing his work and listening to the work of others.

Poetry club has a certain effect on its members and continues to inspire as well as challenge them to reach the next tier of poetry.

Future of Poetry Club

The Keeping It Real poetry club is still a new club at Colonia High School. There are a lot of new members coming in each week and more events taking place providing even more opportunities for said members.

As Simkovich mentioned, poetry slams are a big part of Keeping It Real. This aspect is sure to be maintained, in fact members have already began to practice for upcoming poetry slams.

Starting more towards the end of the school year poetry slams against other schools will take place. This is an exciting opportunity for all of the poets in the club, as well as for Simkovich who wishes to retake first place once again.

Savage, who intends to compete in these upcoming poetry slams, also has comments on the subject, “I’m writing things I consider to be powerful and venturing into the more theatrical side of poetry and writing just about every day.” This is shared sentiment amongst the members of poetry club however, as each member looks forward to improving their poetry through poetry club by just keeping it real.

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