The power of poetry

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold on June 26, 2014

DSC_0342 copyAuthor Carol Ann Davis understands the power of the written word. So it’s not surprising that the Newtown resident and assistant professor of English helped organize a free, six-week workshop for Newtown school students and their parents, offering them a chance to put their thoughts into words in the aftermath of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Over the summer, participants celebrated the publication of a collection of their work, In the Yellowy Green Phase of Spring: Poems for Newtown, with a garden party at Dana Holcombe House in Newtown. Some of the students, from grades three through six, read from their work.

Professor Davis, who lives in the Sandy Hook neighborhood, teamed with Lea Attanasio, a fourth grade teacher at Newtown’s Hawley School, Dr. Elizabeth Boquet, Professor of English, and Fairfield University student Charlotte Pecquex ’15, an English major, to make the plan a reality.

Professor Davis said, “I knew that it would be healing to be together; what I didn’t count on was how it would transform me and help me to better understand and reflect on the experience of being a parent in Sandy Hook at such a moment.  It’s still helping me!  I’m so very grateful I was able to work on this project, which proved the rule again that to serve is to be given a great and immeasurable gift.”

DSC_0347 copyThe Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, the Office of Service Learning, and the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences sponsored the initiative. The organizers hope to take the model into schools and community centers in Bridgeport in the coming year.


Outside, by Mason Layda
The clean fresh air
The soft sand
The rough bark on trees
Chirping birds
The soft grass
the rough gravel
The clear sky
Smell of spring flowers
The sound of planes flying
Swaying branches of trees


Hush, It’s Nighttime by Molly and Jenna Connors

The blazing orange sun tumbles
toward the sleepy water.
Blooming tulips close for an endless night’s rest.
Birds suddenly hush.
A boat ripples the glassy lake, shattering it.
I am sleepy,
my cozy bed waits.
The warmth of the cabin keeps me safe
while I drift peacefully to dreamland.


DSC_0032 copyMy Town, Newtown by Annika Sun

Newtown, my home
It’s calm and quiet.
Things are peaceful around town.

Pretty and beautiful in the spring,
Newtown is full of nature.
Cats, dogs, horses, and more.

The people in Newtown are friendly.
Everyone is kind to each other.
We have been through tough times but we survived.
Newtown is strong.

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