Speaking of poets

President Quinn Lozar performs a spoken word poem during the club’s lunch meeting last Friday.

Mikayla Wood, Staff Writer

Close your eyes and visualize a poet.

If you pictured a quiet, reserved man in the corner of a coffee shop deep in thought while listening to NPR, don’t feel bad.  Be honest, he had a beret on his head and quill in his hand too.  These are common, yet mistaken, stereotypes of poets.

The founder of Poetry Club at CHS, senior Quinn Lozar, has made it his mission to manifest what poetry is really about: creatively, sharing stories and expressing emotions.

It took two major devastating events for Lozar’s inspiration for the club to develop.

“At the national speech and debate qualifying tournament, I would have been the first ever novice competitor to make it to the national tournament if I qualified,” Lozar said. “I was around eight out of 11, it was 11 o’clock at night, I lost by one point and I experienced one of the most devastating failures of my lifetime.”

Despite this first failure, Lozar continued to push through.

“I was too tired to be angry,” Lozar said. “So the next morning, I woke up and I saw that there was this advertisement for this national spoken word poetry competition called ‘Light the Stage’ on the Internet.  The winners get to go to the national stage, and at the time, I didn’t have any prior experience with spoken word poetry so I decided to just go and try this and be apart of this competition because maybe I’d win.  I didn’t end up winning.  So, I was devastated again.”

However, Lozar refused to let these failures hold him back and instead decided to be optimistic.

“It took me two weeks to look past my anger and see how much I’ve affected people in the sense that they kept coming up to me and were just like ‘Your video was so inspiring, you should make a club.’” Lozar said. “And that’s exactly what I did.”

His immediate reward for all his hard work, dedication and devastation was nothing.

“First meeting, I showed up,” Lozar said.  “That was it.  There was no one there.  I was really bummed because I had speakers, a stereo, a mic and stuff like that.  So, I just did poetry on my own.  It just felt very intimate and lonely.”

Soon, however, Lozar would begin to see all of his hard work pay-off.  His bold and persistent attitude coupled with his passion for poetry inspired others to join him.

“Now it’s gotten to the point where there’s standing room only,” Lozar said.  “All the chairs are filled up and people can only stand or sit because they want to see performers do their thing and express themselves through spoken word.”

Lozar emphasizes that poetry club is not exclusively for poets.  The club’s goal is to create a friendly, accepting environment for people to express their original selves.

“If you like poetry then you can go and just spectate,” Lozar said.  “You don’t have to be talented to be apart of the club and watch and enjoy and learn about experiences and current events and different ways to express yourself other than a school-based setting.”

Poetry allows people to say what wants to be said or what needs to be said, void of judgment.  It creates an intimacy between the poet and any person, if any, exposed to it.

“In poetry club, there’s no right answer” Lozar said.  “We’ve had poems on Donald Trump and the most controversial topics.  Everybody is very accepting of everybody and that’s what’s unique about poetry club.”

In just a year, poetry club has participated in the establishment of the Ignite the Mic Showcase, the publishing of Inverse Poetry Anthology Paper Cuts Volume 1, the Ben Vereen Wellness Through the Arts Competition, and the opening of the first spoken word poetry opera.  The creation of this club by an inspired student has proved what’s achievable with true passion and devotion.

“It is possible to do anything in your power to get what you want as long as you thoroughly believe in it,” Lozar said.