South Huntington would like to congratulate Walt Whitman High School English teacher, Vito Monti, for the publication of his poem, “What’s Going On” in the Peauxdunque Review!
In the midst of a world-wide pandemic, the opportunity for catharsis and healing through artistic expression is dire. Time stood still as we were forced into isolation, trying to adapt to the new normal during one of the most tumultuous times in modern history.
Many of us used the pandemic as an opportunity for reflection, to learn a new skill, or find ways to contribute and provide relief to those in need while maintaining a safe distance. Others saw it as an opportunity to practice their craft, hoping to express through music and art the beauty and fragility of what it means to be alive. That’s what makes us that much more grateful to be able to acknowledge Mr. Monti for his poem “What’s Going On”, a piece which reflects our shared feelings of uncertainty through poetry and the power of language. Monti, whose poetry has appeared in The Common Ground Review, The Nassau Review, The Apeiron Review and elsewhere plans to continue his coursework at Stony Brook Southampton where he studied Creative Writing with a specialization in poetry and short fiction.
Whitman’s English Department, chaired by Joann Hili-Carbone, is home to other published writers including Kim Latko, Joe Pipolo and Matthew Kindelmann. A multi-genre author, Latko’s poetry has been published in a Random House anthology and in literary magazines including Slipstream, The Front Range Review and RiverSedge. Her freelance nonfiction columns have appeared in both local and state-level publications. Pipolo, whose poetry has been published in The Bryant Review and elsewhere, serves as advisor for Xanadu, Whitman’s acclaimed literary journal. In that role, Pipolo has pioneered the shift from the magazine’s print platform to an award winning digital montage featuring a stunning array of student poetry, prose, music, photography and art. Kindelmann, a two-time award winning columnist, has written for The Smithtown News since 2014 and has been a frequent contributor to The New York Independent for the last ten years. He’s currently writing a travel memoir titled There’s a Place, a charming and provocative work that has taken him to fourteen different countries researching and writing about the worldly exploits of The Beatles.
Whitman has always provided outlets for students to showcase their writing and express themselves through the written word. Poetry and prose writers are able to workshop their writing through Whitman’s respected Creative Writing Program, while songwriters have the unique opportunity to practice the craft of writing lyrics to original songs which are tracked, produced and published on professional albums through The Collective, Whitman’s Songwriting and Recording Studio Program.
We are proud to acknowledge Mr. Monti for his published poem! This piece is a testament to the ability of our district teachers to lead by example, encourage students to create their own work and see how far their words can take them.