Whitman’s Xanadu Wins Excellence In Literature Award

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The National Council of Teachers of English has recognized Walt Whitman’s student literary magazine, Xanadu, with an Award of Excellence. This year’s award is based on a book created last spring that features poetry, other writings, and art work created by Whitman students. Xanadu editors put together their award-winning entry on a shoestring budget—think black-and-white printing bound with a rubber band. But the quality of the artistic material spoke louder than the packaging.


“The kids last year had no money to produce their book, but they really worked hard,” said Mr. Joseph Pipolo, Whitman English teacher and Xanadu advisor.  “In the end, the humble packaging didn’t matter. The creative work was that good.


“This year, our editors decided to hold a benefit concert on January 13th,” continued Mr. Pipolo. “So they invited five bands, all comprising Whitman students, and charged $5 to get in. The concert proceeds, including the sale of t-shirts commemorating the event, titled “Poetry is Witness,” made $2,000, which will be used to create this year’s book. Now, thanks to their hard work and the support of all the students who attended, we will have a full-color, professionally bound book that will be ready for sale toward the end of May.” 


Presale orders are encouraged, as each year this book sells out. For information on how to order your copy, contact Mr. Pipolo at: JPipolo@shufsd.org.