Chrysalis school presented Expressions – a night to celebrate the spoken and written word. The seed for the idea came from student, David Rollins, who had recently experienced a Poetry Slam and wondered if we could host something like that. From there grew the idea of a “spoken and written word” evening. Fourteen students performed or shared spoken word poetry, micro-fiction or songs. We transformed our theater into a 1950’s style coffee shop.
Spoken word poetry, according to the poet Sarah Kay, is the “art of performance poetry”, poetry that won’t just sit on paper. Micro-fiction tells a story in 500 words or less, the art of telling a big story in the fewest words. Part of the fun comes from the audience participation. Everyone was encouraged to respond to lines and phrases they enjoyed by snapping their fingers or offering a vocal “yeah”, and the audience really got in to it.
We presented two sets of performances, ending each set with the original music of Zane DeYoung. David Rollins, Rehana Asmi, Kevin Burns (read by Sarah Harris), Joe Filer and Michael Giordano shared their poetry. Brittany Wilson and Chris Dubois shared a piece of micro-fiction. Teacher Mary Kate Meyer read the work of Christina Sagrelius, Jenny Lefelman, Gavin Stener, and Owen Shuh. David Rollins read a piece by Forrest Martinez. Teacher Deborah Jacobson served as host and also read a piece from Adelle Pickard.
Additional writing was displayed on the walls, including research papers, creative writing and essays. Several students wrote book reviews, encouraging our guests to try a new book. The whole event showcased the many creative writing talents of our students.
Over 70 people attended the event. With all of the positive reviews, we plan to hold another spoken word night next year.