Poet returns to RE in honor of National Poetry Month
Rosie Prohías Driscoll '86, a poet and educator, didn't become serious about writing poetry until her late 30s. Her first book on poetry, Poised for Flight, was released just last year. As part of RE's celebration of National Poetry Month, Driscoll returned to the campus she spent her own high school years to let students know that if she could write poetry, they could, too. At an upper school assembly on April 11, she urged them to pause, look around, be astonished – and write.
"When you pause and pay attention, you will find wonder," she said. "When you find wonder, you will find poetry."
Added Driscoll: "You need to pay attention to how mundane moments – that we might be tempted to pass by – are actually charged with meaning and resonance."
Driscoll's Cuban mother, great aunts and grandmother provided the inspiration for her debut book. Her father died when she was four. "I have always felt grounded and rooted by them," she said. "I feel their presence very much with me all the time."
Driscoll was introduced at the assembly by Lucia Rose Dahn '23 and interviewed on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage by Leah Maduro '23. Both are students in Ariel Mandel's English 442: Creative Writing - Poetry & Short Fiction class. On behalf of their class, they also shared a video presentation on National PoetRE Month, encouraging their peers to write poems about experiencing nature in the Miller Quad.
Driscoll's former RE classmates David Clark '86 – now the COO and Interim Head of the Upper School – Cristi Mendoza Edmunds '86 and Lisette Suarez Stancioff '86 attended.
Driscoll earned her bachelor's in English Language and Literature and Spanish Language and Literature at Georgetown University, then claimed a master's English and Comparative Literature at Emory. She is an English teacher at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va., with two grown daughters.
"We live now in a culture of busy-ness, of productivity, the to-do list, how do we get the next thing done?" she said. "That cultivates a sense of anxiety that poetry is a great antidote to. We need to remember our essential selves and poetry helps us to do that by helping us to pause in that moment."
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.