See my Selected Poetry
[From Soundcloud link]
I remember watching my first grade teacher stare in horror at the tube television in our elementary school classroom as reports of Columbine High School’s deadly school shooting flooded the news. My elementary school was 20 miles north of Columbine High School; teachers all but stopped classes, gathering in the hallways in muted chaos, whispering and wondering what to do.
Paul L. Thomas wrote “calculating (the erased)” in the week following the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I wrote “Requiem for Youth: Meditation on Innocence” in the year following the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Truthfully, 20 miles is a short distance when one school attacked feels like an attack on every school. “Tragedy is often reserved for single catastrophic events, but cumulative loss is no less tragic, particularly when the lives of innocent children and teens are placed in the context of daily violence (PLT).” Paul’s insightful blog posts on the subject of education reform and student safety as well as the heart-breaking speech made by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting serve as narration and interjection amidst the calm of the Latin requiem mass, When paired with traditional Latin requiem mass texts, Paul’s poetry, haunting and unfortunately timely, serves as both a reflection and call to action.
Live performance, Voertman Hall, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. February 16, 2020.
Charlotte Botha, conductor, Holly Holt, Piano.
Morgan Horning, soprano soloist; Nicole Stover, mezzo-soprano soloist; Kevin Rosacia, tenor soloist; Aaron Hunt, baritone soloist.
Sheridan White, soprano; Gillian Boley, Edith Campa, Autumn Cappoci, and Gift Pratoomvieng, altos; William Martin, J. Andrew Smith, tenors; Andy Diaz, T. J. Mattson, Gavin Santopetro, Andrew Trimble, basses.