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D. Colin, in grey blazer and black graphic tshirt, performing her poems for Emma Willard School students in the library.

This past April Emma Willard School (being a poetical community that loves a reading recommendation) celebrated poetry month with a variety of events and activities offered by the writing center, the library and its leadership committee, and the Spilled Ink poetry club.

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1998, National Poetry Month “reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.” It’s a sentiment that literary minds at Emma Willard share. Lucia B-C. ’24, Library Leadership Committee (a Practicum opportunity for students to become more involved in the library) member, who provided a list of poetry books to be displayed in the library throughout the month, commented on the programming for the April 2022 celebrations: “It was cool how many of the activities were interactive, and the fact they were all available, because poetry can be overlooked or stereotyped.”

A list of books of poetry Lucia compiled for the Dietel Library display.
Among those activities were a blackout poetry station, poems printed and left for anyone to take, and a community poem in Dietel Gallery. Materials at the blackout poetry station shifted all month long as students and EMployees stopped by to create their own poems (the blackout poetry method consists of a page of existing text from which words are blacked out with permanent markers so that any remaining visible text reveals a poem). The community poem grew as new lines materialized in moments between classes or after school. 

A student creates blackout poetry during Poetry Month.
In mid-April, History Instructor and Archivist Nancy Iannucci, an accomplished poet, read several poems of her own alongside poems from poets important to her own work (read more about Ms. Iannucci’s poetic process here). A “Poetry in the Garden” event involved painting Director of Library Resources and Research Caroline Buinicky’s fence with poetry as a weekend activity. 

Poems available for the community to take with them on display in the library.
As poetry month came to a close, the writing center welcomed local poet, performance artist, and activist  D. Colin to campus. Various English classes spent their usual class time listening and engaging with the poet, who read and performed her work throughout the morning. Previously, D. joined Emma Willard School for our Catalyst Conversations, a four-night symposium highlighting Women of Color who make invaluable contributions to the Capital Region through their work in the fight for civil rights, equity, and justice. “I had the pleasure of sharing poems and answering student questions at Emma Willard School,” she wrote in an instagram post about the event. “I had a great time and I'm grateful for the warm welcome.”
“It’s really cool that a poet came in and spoke and the community was willing to do so much for Poetry Month!” added Lucia. 
Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Poetry Month at Emma Willard School!

Library Leadership Committee member Katie G. '23 takes photos for the library instagram (@emmalibrary).
Nancy Iannucci standing at the podium, wearing a black dress, reads poetry to students in the library.

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