Freshman named all-school winner in annual festival

Students read original poems, winners announced

Toby Slater ’22 was named the All-School Winner for his poem “Nails” in the annual Poetry Festival on April 29.

“I was really surprised when they announced that I won,” Slater said. “My teacher read my poem and suggested that I submit it because she enjoyed it. I think poetry is a great way to convey a message in a beautiful way.”

The festival, which includes announcements of all-school and grade winners and poem readings, typically takes place at the end of National Poetry Month.

“I think it’s cool that the school understands the importance of poetry and makes it a big deal,” Wolfie Tobiason ’21 said. “It’s something that not a lot of other schools do.”

Teachers say that the poetry festival encourages students to freely express themselves.

“[The Poetry Festival] brings out a lot of creativity from students that you don’t always expect because poetry isn’t something that is really easy to do in school,” English teacher Reilly Walker said.

Students say they appreciate the elegance of poetry.

“I think it’s a beautiful way of writing that can deliver a point well,” Eamonn Kenny ’21 said. “The Poetry Festival is a great way for people to showcase their talents.”

The festival ties into this year’s theme of robust vulnerability.

“I think there’s always something about learning how to be vulnerable,” Walker said. “Submitting something that’s very personal — like poetry — to be judged by someone that doesn’t know you or doesn’t know the context; opening yourself up creates that whole aspect of robust vulnerability.”

Students say poetry allows them to connect with others.

“I like to write poetry because it is an opportunity to express thoughts in a unique way.” Tobiason said. “The Poetry Festival is an opportunity to share these ideas with a broader community.”

Grade level winners are freshmen Robin Tsai (1st), James O’Leary (2nd), Tommy Gibbons (3rd); sophomores Vincent Behnke (1st), Eon Kounalakis (2nd), Wolfie Tobiason (3rd); juniors Dylan Tomao (1st), Andrew Dolan (2nd), Tomas Wolber (3rd); seniors Theo Ennis (1st), Alex Byrd (2nd) and Travis Evans

Leet Miller | With Permission
Senior Trevor Blanc and Head of School Tony Farrell engage in a rap battle during the annual Poetry Festival last Monday. Farrell and Blanc engaged in a similar roast last year, which drew laughter from the audience.