St. Mary’s College Holds Poetry Workshop for High School Students

Sophomore Kate Cognard-Black writes a poem at the poetry workshop.

Allison Guy

Sophomore Kate Cognard-Black writes a poem at the poetry workshop.

Allison Guy, Sophomore Staff Writer

On September 17, St. Mary’s College of Maryland held a poetry workshop open to all high school students. Six students from Leonardtown attended, and students from Great Mills and Chopticon attended as well. At the workshop, which took place during the school day, students were asked to write an ekphrastic poem—that is, a poem inspired by a piece of artwork. The workshop took place in an art gallery, so the students had plenty of artwork to choose from. Students then read their poetry aloud and other students commented on it. The coordinator of the workshop, a professor at the college, asked the students questions about their poems and gave them advice on how to improve their writing. After lunch, which was provided by the college, students were told to choose their three strongest lines from their ekphrastic poem. They then chose one of those lines as the first line of another poem, which had to be about a different subject matter than their first poem. Sophomore Kate Cognard-Black, who attended the workshop for the first time this year, said, “I think the poetry workshop is a great opportunity for both pros—prose, get it? Get it? That’s a pun… and new writers to get a new feel for poetry. It definitely gave me a new understanding and many new ideas for future poems.” Sophomore Maddie Prelog liked the workshop as well, saying, “I really enjoyed it and I thought it opened up your mind to different ideas and perspectives. It really brings you out of your shell too. The people are very friendly and supportive.” Both girls recommended the workshop to other students who are interested in poetry, but Kate warned, “I would not recommend this to people who do not like poetry or are just looking to get out of class.” She followed that with “However, I think if anybody has any interest in poetry, is a poet, or who is just looking for a new form of expression, then this is a wonderful workshop to attend.” The workshop has three sessions, and the next is in November. Contact Mr. Leischer for more information.