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The Student News Site of Everett High School, Everett MA

The Crimson Times

The Student News Site of Everett High School, Everett MA

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Poetry club offers judgment-free zone for students to connect, share writing

Alice Andrade
Advisers Mark Lent, Amanda Pickowicz and a small group of dedicated students get together every Thursday to connect, share their writing, and have fun.

The vibe changes as you walk in room 5520 at 2:45 p.m. Some would say it is almost like you are in a parallel universe, a judgment-free zone with nice, welcoming people. You can almost smell their passion in the air as they all sit in a circle with their poems ready to go. That is the feeling you will always get during a Poetry Club meeting.  

“We have been doing this for the past seven years,” English teacher and Poetry Club adviser Amanda Pickowicz said. “I love to read students’ poems, and we have had so many different types of poets over the years. We read their poems and kinda get connected to it, not to be corny but we all connect, even though we are different there is a lot in poetry that connects us.”

“I often look at people and think ‘I have nothing in common with you’,” sophomore member Void said. “ But when they share a poem they wrote I take it all back, and I be like ‘we have so much in common’, and even when it is not the poem itself, sometimes when analyzing and talking about the poem we get to connect with people.” 

“I have written poems about the Poetry Club before,” Void said. “But you really have to be in the club to really know how it feels to be in the club. There is no judgment here, you can write whatever comes to your mind without fearing to be misunderstood or judged for your words. There has never been a single negative comment in this club.”

Poetry Club members have said that joining the club was a very good idea,  and some of them haven’t missed a single meeting since they joined. Like any other club, the Poetry Club often gets off-topic. The members say that this happens because they are all friends and comfortable sharing personal things about themselves. 

Among the members of this club there is no judgment. Poems are shared out loud, and positive and constructive feedback is given to help everybody become better writers.

Poetry club is not just about poetry, it is about making friends, exploring your creativity and many other things. When joining this club you should expect a lot of high energy and a really safe space,” Void said. “And as much as I do have my intensity and my high energy, this is a very calm place.”

“If I was asked to describe this club to someone I would tell them to imagine a cut-down tree stump with a tiny little door, and when you open this door you see a bunch of little rabbits drinking tea.” 

Sometimes people use writing as a coping mechanism. Writing your thoughts down on your notes app can be very helpful, but being able to share those thoughts and talk about them with people is even better. 

The Poetry Club has helped members see things differently and use their writing with more purpose. “One thing I’ve learned during my journey–and this club is definitely part of it–is that I will love until I die,” Void said.

“When I first started coming to the meeting I remember thinking about how I wasn’t full of hate, even though sometimes I could be hateful I was never full of hate, so this club made me see more love and understand where it was coming from,” Void said. “Now I see more love in people, in words, in everything.” 

 “Poetry Club has been around at Everett High since me and Ms. Pickowicz used to be students,” English teacher and adviser Mark Lent said. “I was heavily involved with the club during my high school years.”

“Sometime after college when I got hired as a teacher here at Everett High someone else was taking care of the poetry club, but once that teacher left I took over,” Lent said. “I really wanted to run the Poetry Club as a former member myself.”

“When I took over the poetry club, I asked Ms. Pickowicz, who was also interested in poetry, to be an advisor with me,” Lent said. “So when we started things together we would just talk about poetry in general, and we would also talk about some poems that our members would write and share with us.” 

“Even though we haven’t done it since the pandemic, we usually strive to put on a Poetry Slam at the end of every year, which is a pretty big event for the poets in our club,” Lent said. “We also try to do an Open Mic Night midway through the year. The Open Mic Night is an event to celebrate reading and writing poetry, which we had the chance to do last year.” 

“When I was in the Poetry Club in high school, I was writing much more poetry than I do now,” Lent said. “And something that I took with me for life were the opinions and suggestions from my peers. When I was in high school the format of things was very similar to how we do things now, so I improved my poetry just by talking about it with others and that was really cool.”

Reading and writing poems can help you with a lot of things and also teach you a lot of things. According to the club members and the advisors they have all learned things throughout their journey and they will surely continue to learn things that can make a change in their lives. 

The Poetry Club meets every other Thursday in Amanda Pickowicz room 5520 at 2:45 p.m. New members are always welcome to join. 

“Our regular meeting starts with students signing in with the QR code,” Pickowicz said. “After some casual small talk, the members get in a circle. Students who have a poem that they want to share usually send it to me or Mr. Lent before our meeting, and the poems get printed out and shared with the members. Once we are all ready we read it and give feedback as a group. We get off-topic a lot, which is the fun of this club. We give advice on poems and we talk about the best parts. This is pretty much what we do.”

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About the Contributor
Alice Andrade
Alice Andrade, Reporter, Editor
Alice Andrade is a senior who is in her third year of journalism. She is involved in the Newspaper Club and the art department, taking three art classes. Andrade has always shown an interest in art but her art teacher Ms. Pierce further fueled Andrade’s interest in art in junior year. Although interested, Andrade would like to keep journalism and art as a hobby, primarily focusing on forensic science as a career in the near future. “Usually they think of the person that cleans the body up when they die,” Andrade said about people’s perceptions of forensic scientists, “but I definitely don’t want to deal with the dead bodies, just the chill stuff.”

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