21st annual Poetry Fest commemorates Lynne Cohen


Sam Klein/Sagamore staff

Cohen speaks at the 21st annual poetry fest at Brookline Booksmith. Sam Klein/Sagamore staff

Maddie Nagler, Staff writer

Sam Klein/Sagamore staff

Claps, tears and grateful goodbyes filled Brookline Booksmith this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The widely popular Poetry Fest once again proved that poetry can come in all shapes, sizes and types.

While the annual Poetry Fest primarily serves as a forum for students, teachers and parents to share their work, this past assembly had an additional purpose as well. Librarian Lynne Cohen was recognized for her 31 years of teaching at the high school. Cohen was the founder of Poetry Fest, which she started 21 years ago.

The night of poetry began with a tribute to Cohen written by English teacher Alison Whitebone. Her poem, which was about the memories she and Cohen shared, was followed by a memorable song performed by Copy Center teacher Paul Lauro-Priestly.

Many students shared their own poems covering topics such as change, depression and the passing of time and death. Freshman Missy Spencer shared a moving poem about depression and all of the confusing feelings that come with it.

English Curriculum Coordinator, Mary Burchenal cracked a joke to relieve some of the sadness in the room, but continued by sharing a poem about watching her faithful dog as he ages.

Continuing the topic of death, senior Hannah Timmermann, delivered a poem about a baby named Madison, who was born after the death of another child in that same family. The poem outlined how Madison was only living in the shadows of the child who had passed away, struggling to be her own person as she seemed like just a replacement for the other child.

Special guest poets Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey also made appearances. While performing his poem, Carey attempted to solve a rubix cube. He was the only poet who chose to use a prop for effect. Gibson performed another tribute filled with anecdotes about Cohen.

Sam Klein/Sagamore staff

Another crowd favorite was Jaime Serrato Marks’ poem about depression. He raised his voice at certain parts in order to draw the audience’s attention. His use of derogatory language furthered the power and emotion of his poem.
Poetry Fest celebrated both Cohen and the art of poetry.