Erik Flores Reyes, Staff Writer

Franklin Ponce (Senior) at Huntington High School, composed several poems that were recited during the event. Most of his poems, in general, are private and express his personal life. He demonstrated great ability by composing several poems that impressed the audience. He is a strong writer and confessed that he composes all of his poems in the early morning. At 1:12 A.M., one day in March, he dedicated a poem to his mother, which expresses his affection toward his mom. This same poem was recited during the Poetry Reading event at Huntington High School. He received a lot of positive comments and exhorted him to write more poems because of his impressive skills. 

When one of the attendees, Bliden Martinez, was asked how these kinds of events impacted the Hispanic community, he responded, “These events, like Poetry Reading, makes us feel proud because we know that although we were not born in the United States, we are still doing great things and we are proud of our culture. And in the physical aspect of life, I think that this event helps students coming from foreign countries because they know that they can express themselves in Huntington High School; They feel safe”. Huntington High School has become a place of mixed cultures, where hate is overcome by acts of kindness. 

When Teresa Connolly was asked the essential question, “What were your motives for doing the event?” she responded in the following manner:

“I wanted to bring Hispanic Heritage month into the light, as an opportunity for students to realize that the contributions Hispanic or Latinx people have made to American society are innumerable. These have come from heads of state, scientists, doctors, journalists, sports legends and writers to name a few. I decided to have students choose poetry written by Hispanic/Latinx authors to read because many authors help us realize that we all have struggles along the same path. By having students read poetry of their own or from published authors, we are given a glimpse of the hearts and minds of Hispanic people who have contributed to American society and the canon of literature. Students read several poems. A list of the poets included HHS student Franklin Ponce and other published others like Jimmy Santiago Baca, Gary Soto, Francisco X. Alarcon, and Luis Alberto Ambroggio, among others. Sometimes the words we read resonate with some of our experiences, sometimes they teach us, and sometimes they simply make us feel, but always they help us recognize our humanity.

I’m always motivated by ways I can help students experience the English language and a sense of belonging. Having the students read original and published poetry to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the newly renovated space in the library was a chance for them to participate in something that they already belong to. Having an experience such as this, helps them forget the preoccupations that come with language barriers and enables them to find joy in the experience of reading poetry.”

– Teresa Connolly. 

All of the magnificence endured that day illustrates the true value of cultural diversity. Poetry can unite our minds, hearts, and souls. All of this makes our school a better place due to the shared benevolence. 

The next Poetry Reading will be hosted by the English National Honor Society and it will take place at the Huntington High School library, on October 23rd.