Sharing the Gift of Poetry

DC poet and former Gonzaga dad Ethelbert Miller occasionally sends a box of poetry books to a poet or school as a way to honor their good work. Considered by many to be the dean of DC Poets, Miller personally selects the books to match the poet or school. Called an E-Box, these special gift boxes are well-known in the DC poetry community.

After reading a story about Gonzaga’s Poets and Writers Club in the Good News from Nineteen Eye Street, Miller created an E-Box for Gonzaga. The box featured a picture from the article pasted on top as well as several quotes, including one from Arthur Ashe that said: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

On Wednesday, April 25, the students who had been featured in the article opened the package, which included nearly 50 books of poetry. There were books by Philadelphia poet Lamont Steptoe, local DC poet Camisha Jones, Frank X. Walker, a Kentucky poet whose work the Creative Writing Poetry class reads, and Tere Chapman, a young poet from Houston. Each of the students selected a few to take home, and English teacher Joe Ross kept several for the growing poetry library in his classroom.

"The E-Box is a terrific gift and Ethelbert Miller is a poet I greatly admire," says Mr. Ross. "I'm glad he recognizes the work our students put into their poetry. I'm also glad he acknowledges the service of our poets to the younger poets at Bishop Walker School. It's essential that our student-poets take their public role seriously. Helping younger student-poets matters."
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