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Bayside HS literary mag reborn with showcase of student poetry

It was a celebration of words and poetry as Bayside High School students marked the publication of their student-produced literary magazine "Soundings" by reading their work at Barnes & Noble in Bay Terrace June 9.

Nearly 50 students, family members and teachers attended the hour-long event and listened as the teens recited their poems.

"We're here to celebrate [the magazine] and what better place to do that than a bookstore," said student Savannah Gordon, the magazine's editor-in-chief.

Samantha Laza, 16, and Phillip Williams, 17, were among the group of students to be published in the magazine . Laza read a 43-lined poem she authored titled "A Gradual Extinction" while Williams followed with a recitation of his work "Magniloquent."

The 48-page magazine features poetry and artwork by students from all grade levels and touches on a range of issues, from the comical and witty to the somber and serious.

An excerpt from the poem "Father's Day" by Andre Henderson reads: "Don't get me started about Father's Day/That's like the worst holiday/Imagine a lil' kid sitting in school/Realizing your daddy doesn't love you/All the little kids making cards for their father/When I was making a card for my mother/He coulda been there but he didn't even bother/I've seen unicorns more than I've seen my father."

Benjamin Mayersohn, a junior and the magazine's literary editor, said the staff looked for unique work that went beyond usual poetry topics, such as love or death.

"Some students may not be the most polished writers, but we wanted to make sure we got everybody," said Dan Herman, an English teacher at the school, who advised the students. Teacher Jasmine Ormaechea was another adviser.

Although the magazine has been around for decades, it has not been published in the last couple years. This year Ormaechea and Herman wanted to help the students bring it back.

The students began creating the magazine in February. And for Gordon it's been an eye-opening experience.

"It opened a new way for me to see my school," she said. "I didn't realize that so many of my classmates have this incredible talent."

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