Serving Up Breakfast and Poetry at the Ridge Community High “Coffee House”

Serving Up Breakfast and Poetry at the Ridge Community High “Coffee House”

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Students at Ridge Community High gather for a coffee house-style poetry reading.

The coffee brewed. The omelettes sizzled. The poetry flowed.

Each year at Ridge Community High, one classroom briefly transforms into a coffee house as students gather for an intimate poetry reading.

“I’ve been doing this event for the last three years with my upper-level students to accompany our study on poetic form,” says Tim Frost, who teaches English and literature at RCHS. “This year, students have been working diligently on an anthology that allows them a space to explore and reflect on various forms of example poetry, but also incorporate their learning of the poetic forms through composing their own unique poems. Their work was shared (Wednesday) in class with our coffee house!”

Frost said the coffee house idea was inspired by a course he took as a student at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His professor would supply coffee for a three-hour poetry seminar, and students took turns providing breakfast for the group.

At RCHS, “giving students an opportunity to share their work in this manner has brought down some barriers for students to not only grow as scholars of literature, but in some cases, find an escape for some pretty heavy life (situations),” Frost said Wednesday.

“For example, today I had students share poems about Panera bagels and Chicken McNuggets, but also broken relationships and the loss of a parent. We laughed, cried and found comfort in the written word.”

Students at Ridge Community High gather for a coffee house-style poetry reading. Students at Ridge Community High gather for a coffee house-style poetry reading.

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