ETHS celebrates Poetry Week

April is National Poetry Month, meaning that schools across the nation are celebrating poetry and its writers. ETHS is no exception, as the school continues the Poetry Week tradition started in 2000. The ETHS librarians are coordinating this event, and it includes live performances and open mics for students to express themselves.

ETHS’ Poetry Week website introduces the two poets coming to the school this year: Adam Gottlieb and Darius Parker. Shari Iverson, a former librarian, is continuing her legacy as a yearly organizer of the event. 

“Poetry Week was started in 2002 with Nancy Fiegel and a few other ETHS staff people. I joined the planning team in 2004, I think. It was great to work with Nancy over the years, tossing around creative programing ideas. Traci Brown-Powell and Jessica Chadwick were part of the planning team for many of those years, too, and recently Robina Button has joined us. Nancy retired in 2019, but we carry on her vision.”

The teaching artists specialize in spoken word poetry, which emphasizes performing poetry rather than reading it.

Iverson also shares the background of spoken word poetry.

“The spoken word culture is all around Chicago. We’re excited to tap into the creative vibe. We find that it’s a really good way for young people and adults to express themselves.”

The week of April 11 will include poetry workshops led by Gottlieb and Parker. The annual poetry slam took place in East Library on Tuesday, April 12.