On May 1, 2012 CHS students and staff filled the media center, forcing some left to sit on the floor. They were there to hear the words of poet and University of Michigan professor A. Van Jordan. This event was co-sponsored by CHS Poetry Club and BSU. This was the last poetry reading, which was sponsored by Poetry Club, of the year. They have brought numerous poets to CHS this year including, Keith Taylor and Coert Ambrosino.
While introducing Jordan, CHS teacher and advisor of Poetry Club Ellen Stone explained that most poets write about a specific area, but this poet does it all. Jordan writes poetry about African American history, superheroes, the string theory and physics – to name a few.
Jordan started out his reading with some background information about his book ‘M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A,’ which he read several poems from. In 1936, MacNolia Cox became the first African American finalist in the National Spelling Bee Competition. He explained that she was prevented from winning and how this loss changed her life.
Cherie Charbeneau attended the reading and was blown away by the Jordan’s inspirational poems. “I really enjoyed it. I had heard A. Van Jordan before … and I was looking forward to hearing him again,” Charbeneau said. Charbeneau is also a writer herself, and hearing Jordan perform motivated her to continue on with her passion. “Sometimes when I hear really beautiful poetry it’s inspirational to me [to write],” she said.
Jordan was the perfect way to wrap up this year’s poetry readings. As Charbeneau noted, the media center was more filled than usual, “I saw some people there that I have not seen at any of the other poetry readings,” she said. Jordan inspired some students with a broad range of poetry and commitment to the art form.
A. Van Jordan’s Poetry from The Communicator on Vimeo.