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GCC Announces Western Mass Student Day of Poetry on Nov. 1

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College (GCC) will host a Western Mass Student Day of Poetry (SDOP) on Tuesday, Nov. 1, welcoming more than 200 area students in grades 8 to 12.

Established by Mass Poetry, a Student Day of Poetry brings hundreds of middle- and/or high-school students to a college campus for a day of reading, writing, and performing poetry; students work with top poet educators in the region. Mass Poetry’s mission is to bring poetry to the people, particularly audiences that may not traditionally engage with poetry, prompting a focus on middle- and high-school students.

After Mass Poetry held five regional events in 2015 — in Boston, Amherst, Worcester, Lowell, and Fall River — Greenfield Community College’s Cindy Snow pitched the idea for a small-scale Western Mass SDOP at GCC. “We have so much creative talent in our region, and it’ll be wonderful to connect local writers and students,” she said. “Students will also get to see our campus and learn more about GCC.”

Working with Mass Poetry Program Director Sara Siegel, the GCC Student Day of Poetry brings poets Amy Gordon, DM Gordon, Doug Anderson, Janet MacFadyen, Jim Bell, Leo Hwang, Maria Williams, Patricia Lee Lewis, Susie Patlove, and Trish Crapo to the GCC campus to perform their work, lead hour-long writing workshops with students, and act as spectators when students perform their own work. Librarian Hope Schneider will also run a workshop in which students will create aleatory and visual poetry. GCC President Bob Pura will welcome the students over lunch.

Due to limited capacity, the Student Day Of Poetry could not host all schools in the area that wished to attend. However, Mass Poetry can offer a school an In-School Student Day of Poetry, an event catered to the individual school’s needs. Mass Poetry is also organizing a Statewide Student Day of Poetry, which will take place at UMass Boston on Thursday, Dec. 15.

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