The Smoke Signal

Let the Poetry Commence

Nimrit Hayer, Student Life Editor

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Ripon High School’s English department puts on the Poetry Cafe every year to encourage poets to share. This year the event was held at the Ripon public library in the evening on April 17.

Staff and students attended the event and shared poems, whether they were self-created or found. English teacher Cameron Burton organizes the event to encourage participation every year, and this year, junior Malia Taylor and Mrs. Ochoa also shared.

“The English department started working with the Ripon library to host Poetry Cafe in 2003, and we agree that it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate April as poetry month and give our high school poets a venue and a voice,” Burton stated.

Although this year’s poetry cafe had the least amount of attendees than all other years, many poets felt they were in a comfortable ambience, which encouraged them to share.

“It was small but fun. Because there was a small group of people, I felt free to open up compared to a big group of people. If it had been a bigger group, people might have felt more uncomfortable sharing,” Taylor claimed.

Ochoa shared her own poem for the first time this year, which described her origin.

“I shared a poem about where I’m from. It was the first time I shared any original work publicly, and I expressed what bolded me as a person. I was able to share a lot more about my ethnic culture through my poetry,” Ochoa said.

Ochoa enjoyed sharing at the Poetry Cafe and its environment, as did other students and staff.

Every year, the poetry cafe allows students and staff to share personal poems in a comfortable environment, make new memories, and have something to look forward to each year. Students and staff, including Burton, all have an aspect about Poetry Cafe that they enjoy.

“I love the comradery. It’s not about teachers or students. We are all there to share poetry, listen to poetry, and snap our fingers. It’s very egalitarian, and I love that,” Burton stated.

One of the RHS students sharing from the podium to all of the attendees.

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Let the Poetry Commence