LAWRENCE – More than a century after Robert Frost graduated from Lawrence High, his legacy will be remembered at his alma mater today.
The Robert Frost Foundation which has held an annual festival in honor of the four-time Pulitzer prize winning poet, has combined forces with Lawrence High for a Lawrence Poetry Day.
The festival’s highlight will be a portrayal of Robert Frost by Gordon Clapp, who plays Detective Greg Medavoy on NYPD Blue. It will be held at 7 p.m. in the school’s lecture hall.
Born in San Francisco, Frost moved to Lawrence at age 12. He graduated from Lawrence High in 1892 and was co-valedictorian with his future wife, Elinor White. Frost also wrote the school song.
Frost was known as the unofficial poet laureate of the United States. He won four Pulitzer Prizes and was asked by President John F. Kennedy to write and recite a poem at his inauguration.
Mark Schorr, executive director of the Robert Frost Foundation said this year’s festival was two years in the planning.
“We’re not disrupting the school day, we’re enriching it,” Schorr said. “As a teacher he (Frost), would be delighted that an organization was helping teachers,” he said.
Richard Gorham, English content coach at Lawrence High, said students from all six high schools on the Lawrence High campus will participate.
“We want to show them that writing can be just as exciting as basketball,” Gorham said. “We hope it inspires them.”
During the day, students will participate in 10 workshops focusing on literacy including creative writing, poetry, spoken word and memoirs. The school is partnering with Andover Breadloaf and Mass LEAP.
“We want to show them that writing can be just as exciting as basketball; it’s inspiring,” he said.
“It’s important for all students to concentrate on writing. They are searching for their own voice and have things to say, but don’t have an avenue to say it,” Gorham said.