This past Thursday evening, Rochester Spoken Word and Writers & Books co-hosted Listening to the Future: An Evening of Prose and Poetry by Area High School Students. In early May, we put out a call to local high school teachers and mentors to nominate students to participate in this inaugural event. They took time out of their busy schedules to provide us with 12 extremely talented young writers. For our first stab at this, we hoped we’d manage to assemble a pleasant evening of student readings. What we got was an event that surpassed our wildest dreams in terms of talent, energy, bravery, quality, subject matter, and poise. The sold-out crowd agreed. These kids knocked it out of the park, and set the bar extremely high for future participants.
If you didn’t attend, be sad, and then mark your calendars for next year’s event. The future has spoken and we listened. From what we heard, we’re certain we’ll be hearing many of these same voices for years to come.
Lineup for Listening to the Future, Thursday 6/8/2017 at Writers & Books: No Judgements — Emily Ash (Mendon HS, nominated by Jude Dietz) Why? — Nasmere Johnson (School of the Arts, nominated by Marcy Gamzon) In My Humble Opinion — Kamilah Sobers (Mendon HS, nominated by Jude Dietz) On What We Teach Girls — Katherine Johnson (Victor HS, nominated by Jeremy Hawkinson) What’s Your Favorite Color? — Asher Phillips (School of the Arts, nominated by Marcy Gamzon)
Excerpt from Schrodinger’s Void — Erin Colaluca (Minerva Deland, nominated by Nina Alvarez)
Excerpt from Later, if not Today — Alan Tu (Pittsford Sutherland HS, nominated by Monica Gebell) Encounter with Time — Reeham Sohail (Pittsford Sutherland HS, nominated by Monica Gebell)
Ceiling — Juno Perez (School of the Arts, nominated by Marcy Gamzon) ME — Noor Lima-Boudakian (Pittsford Sutherland HS, nominated by George Steele)
Excerpt from Teller of Fairy Tales — Nina Stornelli (Pittsford Sutherland HS, nominated by Evvy Fanning) My American Poem — Raja Weathers (School of Inquiry, nominated by Kara Miller)
Special Thanks To:
Sally Bittner Bonn, Al Abonado & Kyle Semmel of Writers & Books for their assistance in making this happen
All of the nominating teachers and mentors listed above. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Julio Nieves for his mad MC skills
Martin Petrella for photographing the event
Kathy Collina & Amy Zelazny for (wo)manning the all-important popcorn and merch tables