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Student Poets Attend Festival at DeSales

A+small+group+of+SLHS+students+attended+the+October+31+poetry+festival+at+DeSales+University%2C+under+the+supervision+of+Mrs.+Ciotti+and+Mrs.+Howsare.
A small group of SLHS students attended the October 31 poetry festival at DeSales University, under the supervision of Mrs. Ciotti and Mrs. Howsare.

A small group of SLHS students attended the October 31 poetry festival at DeSales University, under the supervision of Mrs. Ciotti and Mrs. Howsare.

Sheryl Ciotti

Sheryl Ciotti

A small group of SLHS students attended the October 31 poetry festival at DeSales University, under the supervision of Mrs. Ciotti and Mrs. Howsare.

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Metaphors and similes, personification and rhythm. What exactly makes up good poetry? A group of Southern Lehigh students went to the annual DeSales Poetry Festival to find out.

The festival was held on October 31 at DeSales University. Twelve Southern Lehigh students attended, lead by English teachers Mrs. Sheryl Ciotti and Mrs. Kelly Howsare. Over 150 Pennsylvania high school students were in attendance.

“Students were given the opportunity to express their opinions and creative ideas in a non-judgmental environment,” Mrs. Ciotti said. “Many students don’t have a platform to present their materials, and this gave them an opportunity to do so.  It gave them a voice in the community.”

The festival was the culmination of a poetry contest hosted by DeSales University. Students were allowed to submit up to three poems of any length, topic, or style. The winners were awarded at the festival.

Southern Lehigh freshman Destiny Castillo-Merola received an Honorable Mention award for her poem, “Fitting In.”

“I was actually completely shocked,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to get anything at all.”

After the prize-winners were awarded, the students listened to the keynote speaker, acclaimed poet, Ross Gay. They also attended various poetry workshops, run by other published poets, and participated in an open-mic seminar.

“I liked hearing other students’ poetry and hearing Ross Gay give a lecture,” sophomore Alexandra Curtis said. “He was my favorite part of the whole experience.”

Overall, the students in attendance agreed that it was a enjoyable and educational festival.

“I really enjoyed getting to hear the keynote speaker, as well as experiencing a day outside of the school with the students,” Mrs. Ciotti said.  “I was able to see a different side of them, making it a very enlightening experience.”

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Student Poets Attend Festival at DeSales