On April 16, the annual Belmont Hill tradition of Poetry Fest was held. This 25-year custom was just as captivating as ever despite Covid-19. Every student competing demonstrated their respective poems with zeal and composure. The finalists were as follows: Brathes Sanchez (Form VI), Nathan Zhang (Form I), Timo Simonin (Form V), Michael Ahonen (Form V), Daniel Bittner (Form V), Nolan Henehan (Form IV), Arec Keomurjian (Form V), Luke Hogan (Form V), Brian Lee (Form III), Wesley Lindstrom-Chalpin (Form II), and Jack Shah (Form IV).
While all the performances were fantastic, three were distinguished as winners: Daniel Bittner with the incredibly long poem Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats, Arec Keomurjian with both an Armenian and English version of Scales by Hovhannes Shiraz , and Brathes Sanchez not only demonstrating the poem Short Speech To My Friends by Amiri Baraka but also bringing attention to Adam Toledo , “a 13-year-old boy shot and killed by police.” This year was slightly different than usual as only the advisories of those participating were in person. However, the new chapel was a much-improved space with better acoustics and lighting.
Dr. Tift “ admired how the whole school rallied to find creative ways to hold Poetry Fests in English classes this year; it was also exciting to have the finals feel almost normal again, with the students filling the new-and-improved chapel with their excellent performances, met by enthusiastic applause from the live audience.”
The process of familiarizing, truly understanding, and then performing a poem is an incredible experience that represents Belmont Hill as a school and community.