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Poetry is Cool at St. Ben’s School

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Poet Tanya Neumeyer and grade 7 students clap a beat to help a fellow classmate as he reads his poem aloud. From left to right are Jasper Olipane, Benjamin Mossy, Tanya Neumeyer, Zachary Corcoran (reading) and Joshua Kroll.

April 2, 2012 - St. Benedict grades 7 and 9 students were treated to the living culture of performance poetry by published poet Tanya Neumeyer recently. At first the students were shy, but after Neumeyer’s spoken-word poetry workshops, she had the students writing and presenting their own polished poems on the stage for her and their classmates. At the end, clearly Neumeyer’s passion for poetry was infectious since the students described their week-long poetry experiences as “amazing,” “fantastic,” and “awesome.” When asked what was their favourite part, many responded with a self-confident “writing” and even “performing”. One student requested, “Can you come back?” Neumeyer said it was “a precious gift to see the students transition from contemplative stillness to fun expressive movements. I was inspired by their courage to take steps forward and stretch their comfort zone.”
Tanya Neumeyer is a Toronto-based poet whose visit to St. Ben’s was organized by Teacher-Librarian Ms Marinilli, and funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

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