NSHS Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday and National Poetry Month


On April 26th, the NSHS Library, Writing Center, and Poetry Club worked together to host the annual celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday and National Poetry Month. The event took place in the High School Theater, socially distant but mentally close to our hearts! The event included student, faculty, and administrative volunteers who read from the works of William Shakespeare, other poets, or their own original work.

The five-period program was emceed by senior Ava Moynihan, Writing Fellows Christian Pais and Michael Gimondo, and Poetry Club co-presidents Bridget Lewis, Sophie Rosencrans, and Elizabeth Lockwood. The emcees opened each period hailing poetry as a “timeless and important art form” and declaring that it must “continue to be read and to be heard.” 

“Shakespeare’s impact both on classical literature and on contemporary pop culture is undeniable,” the emcees also declared. “There have been more than 500 films based on [or] adapted from…Shakespeare’s plays. There have been about 200 operas based on his plays. Additionally, many everyday expressions are taken right from Shakespearean literature.” 

This year’s program enjoyed an increase of works read in languages other than English. Students read poems in French, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin. Mme. Pommateau and Sr. Soriano read poems in their native languages of French and Spanish, respectively. Some of the other highlights of the day included an improv poem by Mr. Bishop and his students, a modern translation of Acts I and II of Romeo and Juliet in the mode of text messages and social media by groups of Ms. Viesta's ninth grade students, and Dr. Kurrus’ reading of "Life" by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The day was followed-up by a virtual event on Wednesday, April 28th, that gave students who are working remotely the opportunity to participate in a live reading.

Many thanks to Mrs. Rice, Mrs. Donnatin, Ms. Viesta, and Dr. Kirmser who collaborated on the planning and execution both events and to all of the English classes who were a part of the celebration. 

Article by Writing Center teacher Dr. Caitlin Kirmser and Secondary ELA Director Julie Ritter.