BRONX, NY – The school library: it’s not necessarily the first place you’d expect to see emotions flowing like the waters of the Hudson River. However, those emotions flowed freely inside the library at Harry S Truman High School Wednesday as students bared their souls – through words on paper.
“We have so much talent,” said Lorri Giovinco-Harte, the Assistant Principal of the English Department. “We thought this would be a great ending to showcase the amazing poetry that our students are writing.”
Throughout the day students stood at a library podium and poured out their thoughts and feelings on issues ranging from racial tension and bullying to poverty and eating disorders. At one point, the poetry brought some in the room to the brink of tears.
“I’m getting very emotional, because it’s beautiful,” said A.P. Giovinco, with visible tears in her eyes. “Not only is it so well written but it’s so deeply felt that it’s moving me.”
The poetry reading event comes just a day after contest winners traveled to Webster Hall in Manhattan to perform their poetry on stage for an audience. English teachers Lia Simon, Arthur Guints and Reggie Lewis accompanied the students.
“Realizing that they had such talent when they were performing it on a stage and in front of people and I think they really began to realize how talented they really are, which is what we want,” said Mr. Guints. “They’re finally being able to express themselves in school as well as out-of-school.
Students showed support for their classmates through applause – and more “library-appropriate” rounds of finger-snapping- a practice common at poetry readings.
“They’re learning how poetry is used to convey certain themes that are still relevant in today’s culture,” Mr. Guints added. “They’re learning how to express their emotions in creative ways. They’re learning about themselves, learning about each other.”
Truman Senior Tyrone Pinckney, who also was a contest winner said that he hopes his poetry one day will lead to social change.
“How many times have you heard people talk – ‘we’re going to [make] change,” Pinckney said. “all they do is talk, they don’t really do it.”