POPS Poetry Sessions


Julissa Ventureno

Noah Balustien and Dennis Danziger talk to POPS members about the poetry sessions.

Julissa Ventureno, Photographer and Features Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The club POPS, or Pain Of the Prison System, has been provided a grant with the help of Noah Blaustein, a local poet, to bring in published poets to teach poetry to POPS members.

This club serves to help students deal with the pain of having incarcerated relatives, yet it should be stated that POPS has expanded to help students express their feelings about anything, from breakups to mental illnesses, through the power of writing.

On Jan. 17, Blaustein announced to the members of POPS that the National Park Service has given them a grant to bring in poets to teach eight poetry seminars, each about two to three hours long, every other week. These seminars will start around February and will be held at Beyond Baroque which is about 10 minutes from Venice High.

Dennis Danziger, the founder of POPS, stated that these poetry sessions are great for students in POPS that want to become poets or learn how to write poetry.

It is a bit strange that the National Park Service of all places is giving a grant to POPS. The National Park Service grant will provide those POPS students who attend the poetry sessions with group trips to a national park and a writing session there, along with a reading of the students’ writing at the Peter Strauss Ranch in Malibu. The National Park Service will also publish these writings in a mini anthology.

POPS members have also been busy with the writing of a book. Almost everyone in the club will become a published author at the end of the semester. They expect the book to be available by May or when the Venice High School Yearbook will be given out.

“You can help others by telling your story,” said Mireya Sanchez, the POPS Club President.

She hopes the book helps people understand others’ perspectives and encourages them to join POPS for a safe place to express their voice.

POPS meetings are held in Room 138 during lunch on Wednesdays.