High School Literary Arts
Poetry at Norwell High School goes beyond analysis in the English classroom, as it also looked upon as an art form, in which students learn how language can be appreciated for its aesthetic qualities. Poems may use specific forms to convey emotions to the listener, poetic devices to achieve musical or incantatory effects, or rely on imagery and word associations to create a visual stimulus in the reader’s mind. The interactive layering of all these effects to generate meaning is what defines poetry. It is the individual’s choices of how to use these devices which then makes poetry an art form.
At Norwell High School, students are offered a myriad of opportunities to engage with poetry outside of the classroom, including involvement in the Poetry Club, Poetry Out Loud, and submitting their own poems to The Halyard, the school’s literary magazine.
The Poetry Club meets sporadically throughout the year and joins students who are interested in reading, writing, and reciting poetry together. Students bring poems they want to share, poems they have written, and poems they want to recite to meetings and use the time to discuss and appreciate what each poem offers.
Poetry Out Loud is a nation-wide, annual poem recitation contest that occurs every January. Interested students recite two poems, and then are judged on their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. The winner then goes onto a state-level competition, and then to the national competition where winners can earn up to $20,000.
Writing has often been debated as being either a craft or an art form, but Norwell High School allows students to experience both sides of the debate. While the English department helps students grow and refine their analytical writing abilities, it also allows them to explore the artistic side of the genre. Writing moves us; it stirs us emotionally. While students learn about the different writing components and styles, they also learn that it is the choices an author makes concerning these devices that makes the writing personal, emotional, and reflective, and therefore art.
At Norwell High School, students have a variety of options to engage with artistic writing both in and out of the classroom, including a Creative Writing class, The Halyard, the school’s literary magazine, and The Marble Collection, a state-wide literary arts magazine.
Creative Writing is a year-long senior elective which exposes students to a variety of writing forms and genres, including memoir and personal writing, fiction, poetry, and drama. They learn the traits and techniques associated with each genre, and practice with their own written work.
The Halyard is Norwell High School’s literary magazine, which proudly displays some of the school’s best written and visual art pieces. Every year, the club produces one magazine which is submitted to the NESPA Publication Awards. All students are allowed to submit their work, and each year around 40 will have their submissions selected for publication. The Halyard is the proud recipient of numerous awards, including an All-New England Award from the New England Scholastic Press Association.
The Marble Collection is a juried, statewide publication of writing and artwork from students in grades 8-12. It allows teens to publish their artwork, photography, writing and poetry in a professional venue, as well as offer student mentoring workshops, peer revision sessions and editorial feedback. Teens also have the opportunity to sell their work on The Marble Collection’s e-Gallery.