During the spring semester, Lily Jones has been creating a book titled Everything is Poetry in her semester-long senior capstone course, which guides students to pursue a project of their own interest.
The book consists of short stories and poems about Lily’s life in Vermont, where she lived until she was 16, as well as her life on Martha’s Vineyard. She had the idea to create the book in the fall of 2019 after moving to the Island and discussing the Capstone class with teachers Kevin McGrath and Christine Ferrone.
Lily said, “The opportunity presented itself, so I just went for it. It really was a dream come true.”
The book is divided into two parts, one centered on her life in Vermont and the other on her life on-Island, where she focused her attention on the year-round residents of Martha’s Vineyard.
“One of my favorite [pieces] is titled ‘Theories.’ Last summer, I developed all these crazy theories about the Island and the people who have lived here their whole lives, and even about the fog that rolls in on South Beach sometimes,” said Lily.
As Lily wrote and revised her book, Ms. Ferrone’s role was to assist and encourage her through the process. “Lily is so passionate about what she’s doing and is very intrinsically motivated, which is a very important quality in having a successful capstone project,” said Ms. Ferrone. “It’s kind of a teacher’s dream to work with students who are committed and dedicated, and who clearly enjoy what they’re doing, and Lily definitely exemplifies that.”
Lily has also enjoyed working with both Mr. McGrath and Ms. Ferrone. “They have been awesome,” she said. “Mr. McGrath is really good with all of the formatting, and Ms. Ferrone has given me some good suggestions. It’s weird to write stories that you know and hope people will understand, so it’s nice to have that outside perspective.”
While both Ms. Ferrone and Mr. Mcgrath were helpful during the school day, sometimes inspiration would strike at random times. “I would wake up randomly at like 3 in the morning and was like ‘oh my god, I gotta write all this stuff down,’ so that was a lot of fun,” said Lily.
Lily will be publishing Everything is Poetry through Kindle Direct Publishing and is currently in the process of uploading it, since she has just finished the final draft. Ms. Ferrone looks forward to seeing the book become available to a wider readership. She said, “I hope Lily gets the recognition she deserves and that she gets feedback. She seems to really be [writing this book] because she likes to do it, but it certainly helps to feel supported.”
Lily is excited for the book to be published, and hopes readers will be able to connect emotionally with her writing. “I don’t really expect a lot of people to buy it. I mostly hope that if people read it they relate to it in some way, or it makes them feel something,” she said. “But if that isn’t the case, whatever, it made me feel things.”