Justin Kroll: Spotlight Poet

Ivy Schneider

Spotlight Editor

During lunch on November 21, room 2-114 was filled with enthusiastic Milken students and faculty who wanted to listen to Justin Kroll ‘14, November Spotlight Poet, read original poetry. He shared poems such as “The Adventures of Maurice,” “Lilies,” and “Auschwitz,” as well as a short story, “Coda.”

Kroll focuses on maintaining seriousness and humor in his writing, sometimes simultaneously. “I like to have a funny punchline, or better yet an ‘open your mouth in astonishment’ punchline,” said Kroll referring to “Lilies.” The senior explains that at times he feels that he is writing about scenarios that are hilarious to him but have the possibility of coming off as creepy to readers and peers. “Auschwitz”, on the other hand, is one of Kroll’s more intellectual and thoughtful pieces. He says, “it is not as funny – it’s somber.”

While writing poetry, Kroll enjoys experimenting with form, the physical structure of a poem, and beat, the rhythm in which syllables fall. He pays close attention to the aspect of rhyme, shared sounds or similar word endings, and meter, the process of moving from a stressed to an unstressed syllable, so that his poems can generate excitement and interest. “I enjoy making people laugh,” said Kroll.

Kroll has always loved writing, however it truly resonated with him in third grade when his teacher shared with him that this was a strength of his. This inspired Kroll to continue on the path of writing. He has the most fun developing stories because he feels as though he can go into great depth and can share more with his audience.

Ms. Melody Mansfield, Faculty Advisor of Writes of Passage, as well Alison Rollman ‘14, Marc Pakravan ‘14, and Lizzy Cohen ’14, Creative Writing Leaders, also presented other poets who shared their work. Such students include: Samantha Barry ‘15, Noah Mintz ‘14, Dorian Aftalion ‘14, Jordan Brooks ‘14, Jess Jackoway ‘14, Yelli Lewin ‘15, Jake Fleshner ‘15, Ethan Faliv ‘15, Noah Hendlish ‘15, Maricio Umansky ‘15, Zach Benezra ‘14, Eli Abrams ‘14, and Hannah Berookhim ‘14.

The next spotlight poet, Samara Wolpe ’15, will be reading at the upcoming Writes of Passage meeting on Thursday, December 19, during lunch.