The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Poetry and prose live on at South

Ambrose Vela
Blackout poetry – or redacted poetry – is just one type of poetry with which students in AWR play.

Poetry is a written art form dating back hundreds of years, but it still lives on today and thrives at South’s poetry club, All Writes Reserved (AWR).

In the words of AWR’s faculty sponsor, Rebecca Oliver, “All Writes Reserved is a poetry club here at South, and it is affiliated with a broader organization through the Nebraska Writer’s Collective. We are a writer’s community that focuses mostly on fostering youth poetry here at South.”

To hear the students involved, such as Delan Winebrenner, tell it, AWR is “a poetry community I think that encourages students to use poetry in many ways and to compete or share their poetic art.”

AWR has meetings after school every Thursday from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., and club activities vary from listening to poetry and songs to writing your own poetry based on a given prompt. Usually toward the end of meetings, writers will have an opportunity to share any poetry they’ve written and receive feedback if they wish.

But offered opportunities for sharing poetry extend past the limits of club meetings at the behest of the non-profit that runs AWR, the Nebraska Writers Collective (NWC). “The NWC hosts monthly open mics and slams in both Omaha and Lincoln. People of all ages, including high school students and those in the AWR program, have the opportunity to practice their performance skills on stage for an audience at these events. The NWC also invites poets from across the country to host workshops for AWR students,” according to Rachel Luck, one of the club’s sponsors.

“But why do we need a poetry club at South?” you might ask. Oliver expressed that she thinks it is important to foster a community for writers, saying, “Some kids need athletics, and some kids need drama and theatre and music, but there also needs to be a community for writers because writers can be really solitary if they don’t get forced into hanging out with other writers. And that’s something that I think is really important as a writer myself, to have a community like that.”

There are quite a few things one could write poetry about, like the people in our lives. Winebrenner credits the people who have had an impact on his life like his mother, his brother, his partner and friends as the main source of inspiration from which his poetry is derived.

Another student, Jay Peters, somewhat shared this sentiment, adding “I really like exploring the ups and downs of interpersonal relationships. Really non-personal romance is a fun one. Just exploring the feelings between people and with themselves.”



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