Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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photo by Malcom Luna

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Beatnik Cafe Lets Students’ Writings Shine


Beat: the rhythm, the soul, the powerful meaning.

Beatnik Cafe, which took place in the Little Theater, was an all-day event put on by Writer’s Workshop classes. It is an event where students read and perform pieces they have written for junior and senior English classes.

“Its the best year by far we’ve had,” Annie Flurry, English and Writer’s Workshop teacher, said, “We’ve been doing Beatnik for 14 years. It used to be this small little thing, and I was impressed then, but this year really impressed me.”

Beatnik is open to the junior and senior class because of the language in some of the students’ pieces.

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“Everything’s been really chill; we all snap instead of clap,” senior Michaela Whitmore said.

The atmosphere of Beatnik is set to be relaxing for the audience. With the lights toned down, coffee and sweets provided as people walk in, and candles all around the room, the audience gets a deeper feeling during the performances.

“When I first went up, I was really nervous,” Jordan Tyler, sophomore said, “But there is so much love, and everybody just wants you there. Everyone is snapping, the atmosphere is inviting and the lights aren’t too bright. It is great to just get up there and do your thing.”

Individual writings weren’t the only pieces performed; a couple of students, including Andrew Canon, senior, joined together on collaborative performances.

“It’s a lot of work to get everything down without it sounding bad,” Canon said.

Not only do the students have to make the piece flow, but all of the group members have to practice their part.

“It came naturally to the group I was with [Michael Tahmasian and Mark Whitrock] because we are like brothers in our class. We just felt that we should go on about a piece, do it together, and have a new experience,” Canon said.

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Beatnik Cafe Lets Students’ Writings Shine