A Writer’s Rant

Eli Southwick is another talented student at our school. His passion is writing and poetry. He has competed in district poetry slams and has performed his pieces in events at our school. I asked him a few question to further understand his passion with writing and poetry.

Ramona Mansour: How did you get into poetry?

Eli Southwick: When I started taking Writer’s Workshop freshman year, my eyes were opened to the world of creative writing. Over the next 3 years my love of poetry started growing and it’s now so incredibly important that I can’t imagine a life without it.

Mansour: What are some of your favorite topics to write about?

Southwick: As I go about life, I enjoy taking the lessons that I have learned and using them to create poetry. I also like to write about my love of writing. One style that I like specifically using is creating a long, complicated extended metaphor to make a seemingly simple thing represent a deeper, more emotional message.

Mansour: What inspires you?

Southwick: That is a difficult question to answer. Inspiration comes from everywhere in life, it just takes a sharp eye to notice. Then the only thing left is putting the thoughts on paper.

Mansour: Do you think poetry will tie into a future job you’ll have?

Southwick: I have considered publishing a small, freelance poetry book after high school and maybe continuing down that path. In the future, I could possibly see myself becoming an English and creative writing teacher.

Mansour: What is Writer’s Workshop?

Southwick: It is an incredibly, amazing class that allows students to creatively write about whatever they want, however they want. It’s a judgment-free environment, so students who have a passion for the art of writing and poetry can express themselves.

Mansour: What is Writer’s Walk?

Southwick: Writer’s Walk is a delayed celebration of words that showcases all forms of writing, and the amazing work of the writer’s workshop students. It takes place in October.

Mansour: What is Beatnik?

Southwick: Beatnik Café is a much more intimate event hosted by the Writer’s Workshop students. It has a cozy, coffee shop type atmosphere with a strong emphasis on reading and performing poetry. It takes place in April.

Mansour: What has been your best experience in high school with writing?

Southwick: Personally, I am most proud of my 2nd place finish at The Feast last March, my 5th place finish at The Leftovers, and being named the alternate for the district slam team. I’ve had an amazing experience with the writing program at West. The people I’ve met have become some of my closest friends and I feel that I’ve learned a lot about life while I’ve been a part of it.

Mansour: What is any advice you’d want to give to poets?

Southwick: With performance poetry, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself. Write and write and write some more. If you truly love the art of poetry, you must be assertive and pursue your dreams. You will regret not doing so.