National Poetry Month


Alexis Pan

English Teacher Mr. McConnell teaches poetry to his A.P. English Language class for National Poetry Month.

Though Bronx Science is famous as a science school, poetry is also of great interest for its students. In the English Department, poetry has become increasingly integrated in the curriculum each year, as it has developed a more prominent awareness.

‘Poem-In-Your-Pocket-Day’ is a day when the library hosts different classes in the multipurpose room to read poetry aloud. “Both this year and last year in English, we went to poem in your pocket day in the library. It was really exciting and interesting to see all the students so exciting to read poems and listen to the poems being read,” Rachel Markowitz ’18 said.

“It was really exciting and interesting to see all the students so exciting to read poems and listen to the poems being read,” Rachel Markowitz ’18 said.

In the lead up to April, National Poetry Month, Bronx Science students were invited to participate in the City College of New York’s Annual Poetry Festival and Contest for high school students city-wide. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three poets ands fifteen honorable mentions. In addition,  there is a prize for Best Poem in a Foreign Language, and there are five Gift Memberships to the Poetry Society of America. Furthermore, everyone who enters is invited to the Annual Spring Poetry Festival on May 12, 2018.

Students are also learning about poetry in their World Language classes. “I am submitting both an English poem and a Spanish poem for the contest. It was fun to expose myself to a new type of writing, poetry, and experiment with it in English and also in my World Language class, Spanish. In Spanish, studying poetry has helped me to make connections and to improve my speaking and comprehension” Sasha Izeman ’18 said.

National Poetry Month is a nationwide celebration of poetry that began in 1996 with the aim of increasing awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Until recently, the only event celebrated in Bronx Science for Poetry Month had been ‘Poem-In-Your-Pocket-Day,’ where students are encouraged to carry a poem in their pocket and share amazing literary works with other students and faculty. In addition, there was a poetry reading event where classes were invited to the library to hear recitation of different poems. This year will mark the sixteenth anniversary of Poem-In-Your-Pocket-Day, and it took place on April 26th, 2018.

Many teachers at Bronx Science love to incorporate poetry in their lessons. “ I like to use poetry to make connections. Prior to reading Homer’s ‘The Odyssey,’ I like to work on the tradition of oral poetry, which provides lots of opportunities for work on contemporary spoken word. Also, reading poetry prior to reading a Shakespeare play is a great way to get students ready. Rereading well-known poetry, as in the case of ‘Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ can also be a great way to introduce critical thinking skills and make text to argument connections,” Mr. Nick McConnell said, an English teacher at Bronx Science. “Poetry is everywhere – in songs and in rap – and it’s the quickest way to get to wherever you want to go.”