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 Café


“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – Jack Kerouac On The Road

Beatnik Café is an all day event that happens every spring. This event is put on by every Writers Workshop class and the performers are also students who are currently in a Writers Workshop class grades 9-12. The  environment is supposed to feel very “beat” and “poetic” and the students work hard to decorate the little theater that way. Dimmed lights, black clothing, coffee and pastries it is as if one is entering a coffee house (not to mention the very creative poster boards created with quotes from famous beat poets).

There are many amazing individual pieces and collaborative pieces performed each year.

“Performing something you take pride in is a thrill. It is the ultimate adrenaline rush and I love every second of it” junior Brianna Cole said.

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Cole performed individual pieces as well as two collaborative pieces.

This year Beatnik took place on April 19th. Although performers can range from freshman to seniors because of being in Writers Workshop, the audience who can attend are the junior and senior english classes.

“Beatnik was awesome. I loved seeing everyone perform, everyone was so good and it sounded well rehearsed. It was probably the best Beatnik of my high school career” senior Tyler Williams.

Williams has taken Writers Workshop four times but has performed at Beatnik twice now.

Beatnik has a variety of topics that are performed. Some people choose to go serious, others funny and some, both.

“I was excited because I did not perform sophomore year when I had writers workshop,” senior Quentin Strausbaugh said “two of my pieces that I am really happy Carter let me perform was Ode to my gut and To my father. I performed first block, fourth and sixth. It was awesome because my mom got to see me perform one of my pieces first block and then having the confidence to go up there and show my stomach in front of everybody.”

The teachers who teach the Writers Workshop class are Dylan Carter, Annie Flurry and Lauren Sholtes. They help with the organization of choosing emcees, figuring out who performs when and allowing everyone to have the chance to go up and share.

“Every year I worry before Beatnik goes off that it will not be as good as the year before. Every year it is just as good if not better, and this year was just that. I was worried because we had such a strong senior class last year and I didn’t know how it would go this year but it was great and they showed all of their potential.” Carter said.




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Beatnik Café