Merna Seleman is a sophomore in Mr. Lally’s Intro to Literature II class, and is our selection for English Department Student of the Month for February (please excuse as we get caught up!)
From Mr. Lally: Merna’s performance in my class has stood out in pretty much every conceivable area. Her ability to dissect our literature is keen and intellectual. Her performance in our various assessments regularly rate among the very best. She comes to class with a positive attitude, and brings up questions that help promote a greater understanding of our material. Her writing is refined, and she was even one of my Poetry Out Loud winners! It is a pleasure having Merna in class. Congratulations!
Dwigins Rousseau is a freshman in Ms. Smetana’s Intro to Literature I class, and is our selection for English Department Student of the Month for January (please excuse as we get caught up!)
Along with her endorsement, Ms. Smetana added the following: Dwigins Rousseau’s willingness to take risks sets him apart from his peers. For example, when he discovered a classmate had chosen the Poetry Out Loud poem he had already memorized, Dwigins chose a new poem with only days to prepare. Not only did Dwigins successfully recite that new poem, but he ended up advancing to the semi-finals. Dwigins often steps up in moments when others hesitate– whether it be volunteering to read his personal writing aloud, helping a classmate, or answering a tough question. Overall, Dwigins enhances the class community by exemplifying courage, genuine curiosity, and optimism.
We’re excited to pass along this update – the page where you can purchase Sidra Afzal’s first collection of poetry and artwork has gone live. You can order a copy on CreateSpace by clicking HERE.
And congratulations again, Sidra!
We regret to report that Gati Aher did not advance to the state finals in Poetry Out Loud this year. For the first time in years, the Framingham branch of the semifinals only allowed four competitors to advance, instead of the standard five or six, and despite performing excellent recitations of her two poems, Gati was not selected to move on to next week’s finals.
The English Department wishes to recognize Gati’s excellent performance this year – in the eleven years of Poetry Out Loud at BHS, Gati is only the second sophomore to ever win our championship. Tati, you did a great job in representing BHS in Poetry Out Loud, and you should be proud of your performance at the semifinals!
We are very excited to share the news that Sidra Afzal (Class of 2017) has recently had a collection of her own original poetry made available for sale on Amazon! This is by no means the first time Sidra has been recognized for her writing – State Representative Ken Gordon came to BHS to formally recognize her for a short story that she wrote two years ago, and she has been published in the Claremont Review, Teen Ink, and Collab. She also won a poetry contest that allowed her to read her winning poem in front of an audience of over 20,000 people in Baltimore. But this marks the first time we’ve ever seen a BHS student publish a collection of poetry this significant. Congratulation to Sidra on this great achievement! We’ll post a link to the book as soon as it becomes available!
We also added a tab to our Published Authors page – check out all of our student writers!
On Saturday, sophomore Gati Aher will represent Burlington in the twelfth-annual Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud competition. She will compete against around 15 other state semifinalists in Framingham, around a third of whom will move on to the state finals in Boston on March 11. Gati will be reciting Sonnet 1 by Sir Philip Sydney, and To Live With a Landscape by Constance Urdang.
Good luck, Gati!