Poetry fan-turned-writer named Stonington High’s 2018 Poet Laureate

Stonington High School’s Poet Laureate Halle Anderson holds her certificate at the Mystic Arts Center.

Stonington High School’s Poet Laureate Halle Anderson holds her certificate at the Mystic Arts Center.

Story by Jessica Weber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Each year, an SHS student is selected to be Poet Laureate based on anonymous submissions of poetry, which are read and evaluated by some of the teachers of the English department. With the title of Poet Laureate comes the responsibility of writing and reading original poems at events such as graduation, National Honor Society Induction, Mother-Daughter Banquet, and the Senior Banquet. Senior Halle Anderson has been named Stonington High School’s Poet Laureate for the year 2018.

Anderson’s interest in poetry was piqued while scrolling through the explore tab on Instagram late last year.

“I was watching a video of this girl doing poetry and I thought it was cool so I looked her up on YouTube,” said Anderson. “I kept watching the poetry videos that YouTube recommended and subscribed to all the Button Poetry.”

The girl she discovered happened to be Olivia Gatwood, a slam poet famous for her feminist advocacy and attention to social issues. She would come to be an inspiration to Anderson, as well as one of her favorite poets.

After watching continuous threads of poetry videos on YouTube, Anderson attempted to create works of her own.

“I tried to do slam poetry myself but I realized I didn’t have enough deep thoughts,” recalls Anderson. “So I did imagery.”

While her experience with writing may only have come as of late, Anderson’s ability to set a scene and show the reader what the speaker is feeling earned her the title of Poet Laureate for this year. Her ability to capture human emotion, although she says she struggles with “writing about her feelings” without being melodramatic,” and attention to detail is evident in her depiction of a tired mother, a coffee cup, and the color yellow–all objects of her recent work.

“I like tangible physical things. I like other people’s metaphors, but I can’t write about the abstract,” describes Anderson, explaining how she likes to describe what is real instead of what may be.

Anderson was able to further develop her poetry skills at a master class at the Mystic Arts Center with poet Lisa Starr, as well as other Poets Laureate from schools throughout southeastern Connecticut. She analyzed her work, as well as her peers, and chose two poems to read to an audience at the Arts Center later that night, where artwork by high school students was also put on display.

Although admittedly nervous, Halle Anderson made her debut appearance as a poet with composure and images that captured the audience’s attention, and her coming work is much anticipated.

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