Literary Club’s Annual Poetry Cafe Has Decent Turnout


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Danielle Grimsey performs.

Aron Wirrik, Special Contributor

For many students at IRHS, the idea of reading a piece of original poetry in front of your peers is probably right up there with “amateur eyeball surgery” on the list of Things That Really Sound Like Fun. But several brave souls convened after school Wednesday in the Senior Cafeteria to do just that. [Read poems, not operate on eyeballs. – Ed.]

The inimitable Mrs. Ada was on hand with her ukelele and some musical stylings as participants wandered into the third annual event. Even the principal, Mr. Moore, showed up, along with (eventually) about two dozen students and roughly a dozen High School faculty members and staff.  Free snacks were provided and raffles were conducted.

After a brief introduction by Lit Club adviser Mrs. Kenyon, IRHS’ newest business teacher, Mr. Stechyshyn led off the proceedings with a reading of Robert Frost’s classic  “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which set the tone in the somewhat dim space.

Senior Danielle Grimsey read an original piece that discussed the bittersweet nature of being a senior; she was followed by Mr. Anderson’s reading of “Twas the Night Before Solstice,” a “politically correct” parody of the famous “Night Before Christmas.”

Mrs. Ada came back up to read a (supposedly) non-depressing poem to her daughter, about an encounter with dead bird.  IR’s one and only James Kyle took the mic after that for a reading of Edward Lear’s “The Jumblies,” an old-school fantasy piece.

Mrs. Ada performing a song by Feist, “1234.”

New Social Studies teacher Mr. Thomaris, with a cafe-appropriate coffee in hand, got transcendental on the audience with readings of  “The Past,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson and “Men Say They Know Many Things,” by Henry David Thoreau.

Thomaris’ reading was followed by Senior Sabiana Edouard’s reading of a longer, free-form piece, “To My Black Boy.” She prefaced her reading with a brief explanation of her particular use of the word black to describe race, and her poem contained a number of religious references while remaining rather secular in it’s overall gist.

Cierra Fouts, another Senior, read an original piece titled “Silent Scream.” She was followed by Tatyanna Vincent, a Junior at IRHS, who read her original piece “In the Air,” about a storm and a friendship.

Staffer Mrs. Pitts, a perennial Poetry Cafe favorite, read two original works titled “To Procrastinators,” and “Best Advice.” True to form, both were optimistic in tone, with the second concluding with the line “be kind and smile.”

Lit Club second-in-command Ms. Devorak read an original piece called “I wouldn’t’ve believed you,” and Mrs. Kenyon capped off the performances with her reading of “The Light,” while this reporter doodled a tunnel on his notepaper.

Many of the students in the audience were not members of the Literary Club, but just showed up to support their friends’ bravery. Some of the student readers had never before spoken in front of an audience, so this show of support made a nice vibe for all involved.

And the snacks helped too.