Get ready to recite and write poetry

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary of promoting the arts, Poetry Out Loud is a contest sponsored byThe National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary of promoting the arts, Poetry Out Loud is a contest sponsored byThe National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

By: Alyssa Lage, Fall Reporter

Every Tuesday Poetry Club at Colonia High School meets after school in room 283 to read, write and recite poems.

Colonia High School’s Poetry Club is not like any ordinary club. English Teacher Ms. Danielle Simkovich is the advisor of the club even though it is more of a student conducted club atmosphere. Simkovich started the club two years ago after being inspired by Brave New Voices (a HBO Show where students from across the nation compete with spoken word) and has since maintained one of the best places to be after school. Some of the club members at times say they only joined poetry because of Simkovich and because of her they found in interest in writing poetry and continue to write it to this day.  The Poetry Club members are basically a big family united in spoken word, rhyme and hyperboles.

Poetry Club has one main rule which is what happens in Poetry stays in poetry. This means that no matter what the poem may be about whether false or true, no words about such poem can be discussed outside of room 283 after school on Tuesdays. The only case this rule may be broken is if the advisor of the club feels a student may be either in danger to themselves or others, or in danger from somebody else. In Poetry Club one may either recite a poem they wrote themselves or recite a poem that somebody else wrote as long as the author is stated. Some members of the club love getting feedback after reciting, however, most of the time the club members just are not looking for any feedback.  The poems usually range from a variety of topics such as mush love, society, and anxiety, to even the topic of trees. A few of the members pour their heart and soul into the poems they write and read that can leave one in tears; sometimes those poems are based on the members own life experience. There is no making fun of anyone’s poem or presentation.

Member of Poetry Club since day one, senior Samantha Girod stated, “ Poetry Club is where everyone can open up and share their thoughts. There are many laughs that come from comedic individuals in the club, the laughs bring us closer together with several ‘inside jokes’ such as ‘The Bathroom’ which is a famous poem in poetry club.”

Over the course of the last two years Poetry Club has become a venting session for some students where they can rant and rant about the littlest of things. In Poetry Club, the members do not judge each other, but rather support each other and try to ease serious situations at times. Poetry Club also participates in Poetry Out Loud. A poetry competition that can go on to states and nationals. This year Rabeya Hussaini will represent Colonia in the Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition. However, going to the event outside of school costs money, therefore poetry club freshly did a fundraiser. They sold Gertrude Hawk Chocolates; the proceeds the club receives from selling the chocolates will help ease the cost for a bus to the competition. As stated earlier, Poetry Club is a big family and they all support each other, so when one of the members advances to the  next round, most of the other members will go to cheer on and show the support not only Poetry Club has, but Colonia High School as a whole.

All in all, Poetry Club would not be possible without Ms. Simkovich. She always adds humor to the club atmosphere and is always welcoming new members to the club.

In May, the poetry club will compete in their Annual Woodbridge Township Poetry Slam at the Barron Art Center against JFK and Woodbridge High School. Since CHS took second place last year, Simkovich is actively looking for other high schools to have a poetry slam with to prepare for the township slam. If you are a New Jersey high school that would like to have a poetry slam against Colonia High, please email Miss Simkovich at [email protected]