OHS 2023 Coffee House

OHS 2023 Coffee House

by Caylee Courtwright

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Literary Magazine for this school year. If you weren’t aware of this, every year, the OHS Literary Magazine club compiles stories, poems, and art pieces to publish in one giant magazine at the end of the year. They spend countless hours merging everything together, reviewing poems and prose to place in the magazine. Every year, they vote on a theme, and this year’s theme was Mythology, with sub-themes of fate, sacrifice, creation, judgment, rebirth, and chaos. 

Coffee House is not just about celebrating the reveal of the magazine. It’s also about celebrating the student body and giving everyone a safe space to share songs, short stories, poems, and other talents that aren’t presented in the magazine. To start, Avery Morgan gave a wonderful reading of her short story, October 27, about going through a friend break-up. This was personally my favorite performance of the night. I related to her story. I found that her word choice and the emotions she conveyed were crucial in telling the story. 

At some point during the night, I actually went up and read my own poem that I had written for the literary magazine. I was caught a little off guard, so I had to scramble to pull up my poem. I feel it went very well, despite the fact that the poem was only four lines long. I do have two poems I wrote in the magazine, so feel free to get yourself a copy and flip to page 76 and 42! After me, Dahrian Bowe went up to read her poem that she wrote using something called the “paint chip” method. The advisor, Mrs. Hennessy, taught us how to write “paint chip” poetry during our freshman year. It was nice to see someone use this technique and write so eloquently. I found her piece to be incredibly powerful, no matter how alarming it may have been. Dahrian did clarify that the poem was fictional, and that there was no cause for alarm!

Following Darhian Bowe, Jason Guttman performed A Song For Japan on his trombone. It was a really nice performance. It may just be the fact that I’m not in band, but I haven’t heard the trombone in a solo like that, so it was nice to hear the trombone shine. After that, Hayden Policastro did their own stand up comedy act! Hayden spoke about their dad, and typical dad behavior, and even made some hard topics very funny! I enjoyed this performance very much. Then came an intermission, and I had the chance to interview the aforementioned Dahrian Bowe. I had the opportunity to ask her about her take on the recent release of the magazine. 

How does this magazine stand out from magazines from previous years? What makes this one different?

D: We definitely tried to incorporate a theme. A lot of other magazines have a solid theme they go with through throughout the year. We decided to go with a solid theme with sub-themes. Our goal was to try something different, to live up to the name that we gained from winning the American scholar award for being one of the top high school literary magazines. We put a lot of effort into putting as much student art work and writing as possible to fit into the magazine. This year’s magazine is actually the longest one yet.

Do you have a favorite section of the magazine?

D: Since I worked on so many sections and edited them, I don’t really have a favorite. However, I do think that this may be our best magazine yet. Every piece is so phenomenal. I found myself emotionally invested in every piece I edited, and the talent of this year’s writers and artists is just amazing. 

How do you think the overarching theme of the magazine is reflected in the student body?

D: Students wrote about themselves and their lives. With that, we were able to separate those pieces into separate sections about love and chaos. Their pieces were arranged to reflect what students feel, and how it’s reflected in their work.

What would you say to students who are reluctant to send their pieces to the magazine next year?

D: I would say it doesn’t harm anyone. There’s no harm in sending a piece, or reading your piece at Coffee House. Everyone is so open and supportive. And with that, you can say, ‘Hey, my piece was published in an American-Scholar-Award-worthy magazine,’ which is incredible. 

Overall, this event was incredible, and having the chance to see art and literature written by students, for students, is rare. I found this to be incredible outlet for those who want to express themselves either through words or art. I wish I had found this club earlier, that way I would’ve had an outlet to express my pieces. If you’re hesitant to write for the literary magazine, don’t be! There is no pressure to read your piece at Coffee house, and everyone in the literary magazine is incredible, supportive, and kind.

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