The Dispatch

Poetry reading fundraiser deemed successful

English+teacher+Matt+Flickinger+reads+a+chapter+from+his+coming-of-age+novel+These+Dreams+Which+Cannot+Last%2C+originally+published+in+August+2017.+Flickinger%E2%80%99s+novel+has+earned+a+score+of+4.9%2F5+on+Goodreads.+
English teacher Matt Flickinger reads a chapter from his coming-of-age novel These Dreams Which Cannot Last, originally published in August 2017. Flickinger’s novel has earned a score of 4.9/5 on Goodreads.

English teacher Matt Flickinger reads a chapter from his coming-of-age novel These Dreams Which Cannot Last, originally published in August 2017. Flickinger’s novel has earned a score of 4.9/5 on Goodreads.

Photo by: Faith Lawrence

Photo by: Faith Lawrence

English teacher Matt Flickinger reads a chapter from his coming-of-age novel These Dreams Which Cannot Last, originally published in August 2017. Flickinger’s novel has earned a score of 4.9/5 on Goodreads.

Faith Lawrence, Staff Writer

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On April 20, English teacher Bree Rolfe hosted a poetry reading where Bowie teachers who enjoy to write read some of their work. The poetry reading was a fundraiser for Bowie’s literary magazine, Odyssey, which features original writing from students and staff.

“I figured the [poetry reading] would be fun, but also an easy way to raise some much-needed funds for the magazine,” Rolfe said.

Rolfe, along with fellow English teacher Matt Flickinger and friend Dr. Jessica Piazza, presented their poetry during the reading.

“Matt and Jess are two of my favorite writers,” Rolfe said.  “It was really lovely to get to see them read their work. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by such talented people.”

Photo by: Faith Lawrence
English teacher Bree Rolfe reads one of her poems at a poetry reading on April 20. Rolfe has been writing poetry for most of her life about things that happen around her.

Rolfe read a few of her poems, which all varied in style and message. Rolfe started a group a few years ago for Bowie teachers who like to write to get together and share their work.

“I wish I could say something more fancy or smart or something more impressive, but the truth is that I just write about what happens to me,” Rolfe said. “My poems are sort of a way of processing the world around me.”

Flickinger read a chapter from his newly published fiction novel These Dreams Which Cannot Last at the poetry reading.

“The main male character is sort of based on myself,” Flickinger said. “Through writing it, it turned into a project about writing real teenage experiences. Most of the feedback I’ve gotten is from students saying ‘Wow, this is real.’”

Both teachers and students came to support Rolfe and Flickinger at the poetry reading.

“[Presenting the novel] was kind of nerve racking,” said Flickinger. “I’ve done readings before but never to such a young audience, but I think I had good reception. I stand and teach classes every day, but I am never presenting my own work.”

Rolfe wanted to host the poetry reading not just for Odyssey, but also so students could see that their teachers enjoy writing.

“I wanted students to see that their teachers are also writers,” Rolfe said. “Also, there is that saying, ‘those who can’t do teach,’ and that’s not actually true. I wanted students to see that their teachers have many talents and we do indeed know what we’re talking about when we critique writing.”

“Read even more than you are now. Write, even when you don’t feel like it and you know what you’re writing is garbage,” Flickinger said. “The content, ideas, character work could come in handy later. But, even if it doesn’t, forcing yourself to engage with your words is always worth it.”

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Poetry reading fundraiser deemed successful