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Thanks to suggestions I obtained in the archives about poetry slams/coffee bars, I 
had my very first literary event yesterday at my high school. It was so much fun 
and successful by any measurement. It was lots of work because I had a "poetry 
cafe" and made cookies, biscotti, and lots of other baked things prior to 
yesterday. I served decaf coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water, and Frappuccino. We 
put a small stage in the corner, re-arranged tables and furniture and put out free 
pretzels and mints from the prom the weekend prior. We had a portable sound system. 
 I had a schedule and entry form for kids to turn in plus a copy of their material. 
Teachers signed up to bring classes in. By the second and third period of the day, 
teachers were frantic to get a space. Several teachers performed (guitar music, 
oral interp, poetry recitation) also and the jazz band played. 
        At the same time, I had a Scholastic book fair running all week. I had also 
planned an author visit, my principal's brother, but the author broke his leg and 
couldn't come. I gave two prizes.  The RIF club and my student aides helped run the 
cafe` and the book fair. Next time I know I need more help, more coffee pots, more 
Frappucino, and another faster way of heating water for hot chocolate. I warned the 
kids that if I had to clean up messes, there would be no more "Book-a-Lattes," and 
I picked up one crumpled napkin, three cookie crumbs, and a straw! For some it was 
no doubt a way to get out of classes, but there are kids all over our campus 
saying, "Oh, I shoulda done what I was going to..." and so on. They're working on 
things for next year. 
        The only problem we really had was teachers not supervising classes 
carefully and making them be quiet and listen.
        Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions I found. I'm hoping to try for 
at least one each semester next year.


Marilyn L. Johnson
District Coordinator of Library/Media Services
Holbrook Unified School District
POB 640
Holbrook AZ 86025
928-524-2815 Ext 7011

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