By Sarah Olson ’26. Photos by Aurora Song '26.
Last November, Jessica Zhang ’25 started working on setting up a poetry club. Over the summer, she had attended the Kenyon Young Writers Workshop and was enthralled with the poetry and passion that was there. Zhang said she “desperately wanted to recreate on campus since there's a shortage of literary clubs at NMH.” So she got to work.
The new club is called the Dead Poets Society, and it meets every Sunday at 1 pm in Alumni Hall. The poets receive a prompt, and everyone writes a poem and shares it with the group. If anyone says something self-deprecating, they moo. The idea behind the mooing is that it is funny, embarrassing, and effective in stopping self-doubt. There are also always snacks at the meeting, as Zhang says, “Poets get hungry!”
The club brings in people who are looking for creative outlets. It is a workshop for improvement, learning new styles of expressing yourself — and also eating snacks. Maeve Tholen ’25 joined the club because she simply loves writing poetry. She also loves getting feedback and inspiration from others in the group. “Sharing your writing makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, but in this group of supportive people, it is a really positive and uplifting experience,” she said.
James Kolak, a senior, joined because he believes poetry is essential in education. He enjoys the snacks and the judgment-free atmosphere of the club.
Zhang said the whole purpose of the club is “to write with abandon, without fear of judgment, without the looming threat of grades and expectations. To be writers, poets, artists, and people. To seize the day. To suck the marrow out of life.”