2018 Poet Laureate Announced at 'Prisms' Open Mic Night
By Vivi McKee ’19
This past fall, members of Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School’s creative community gathered in the Georgia M. Vlahos Performing Arts Studio, the cozy theater room in Marianist Hall for a night of literature, art, and music. Organized by the school’s student-run literary arts magazine, Prisms, the Prisms Open Mic Night is an opportunity for students and teachers alike to share a poem, short story, piece of music, or work of art, and therefore a little bit of themselves, with their peers.
Retired SJND English and Spanish teacher Mrs. Norris created Prisms, as well as the Open Mic Night, 29 years ago. Today, current faculty moderators Mr. Andy McKee and Mrs. Colette Gunn-Graffy proudly carry on the tradition. The Open Mic Night was emceed by editor-in-chief Vivi McKee ’19 and featured performances by some of SJND’s most creative students, including the lively Andrew Fowler ’20 and passionate Julia Verdict ’19. The night was highlighted by Mrs. Norris’s announcement of the 2018 Poet Laureate: Senior Sofia Reeves. Sofia’s prolific and thought-provoking works of literature deemed her more deserving than anyone of the title. She displayed this to the audience in the form of two eloquently recited poem, “It Rains In Autumn” and “Insomnia,” which they received with a reverent awe.
A SJND student performs at Prisms' 29th Annual Open Mic Night.
Also in attendance was Alameda’s Poet Laureate, Gene Kahane. Gene was kind enough to share a piece he wrote about Alameda with the audience and even crafted a poem about the Open Mic Night, which he shared with Prisms a few days later.
As a whole, the night was filled with joy and and was a welcome break amidst the chaos of daily life.
In a little room,
On a quiet night,
‘Twas a delight!
Each stood before us,
A smidge unsure,
But all gave in to that same strength,
That compelled them to sit and write,
Wee acts of heroism,
Believing they were capable,
Of making more sense of their lives,
By singing it,
Behind a podium,
Into a microphone,
Casting their syllables into the air,
Into our hearts,
Each poem a message,
Bobbing out to sea,
As we all do,
Would pull the note free,
Read the lyrics,
And want to hug the author.
Heard them all,
And was doubly charmed,
By their craft and hearts,
And went home,
Feeling better about the world,
And these gifted kids.
Thank you to all who attended our Open Mic Night, including Gene Kahane! Keep your eyes peeled for the 29th volume of Prisms magazine, out this spring.