This is Folio

Jackie LaMastra and Lauren Oligino

Fairy lights illuminate the dimly lit Room 166. The air is upbeat and electric. The room overflows with people who sit on the floor and couches as they wait for the next performer to approach the microphone. Just days before, many of these audience members were sitting in the same space, reviewing countless works of art. This is Folio.

Folio, WHS’ student-run literary magazine, has been a part of WHS for almost 50 years. It started as a creative writing club in 1970 before evolving into today’s club in 1971. Meetings occur every Tuesday after school and during that time, the Folio staff reviews the submissions they have received anonymously from students and vote on what pieces get put in the magazine.

Photo by Normandy Studios
Folio Coffeehouse Jan. 10

“We go in depth a lot, especially with the written pieces. We aren’t just judging for content, we are judging for analytical ability,” said Folio Editor-in-Chief Anthony Butera.

In addition to reviewing the submissions, Folio staff spends hours formatting the magazines. “The magazine at the end of the year is the most rewarding thing about Folio because it turns out so beautiful,” said Folio Corresponding Editor Sean Marner.

Folio Adviser and English Teacher Elizabeth Palamara acknowledges that each staff member is “so dedicated, taking each piece of their peers’ artwork seriously when they consider it for the yearly issue, and they make each Coffeehouse so special.”

Besides publishing their magazine, Folio staff is responsible for planning Coffeehouses: monthly events where people can share their artistic abilities with others. Coffeehouses present a warm and inviting atmosphere where anyone can share what they want to say. Along with snacks and a dance break, people read poems from their favorite authors or poems they wrote, sing and dance. “It takes real bravery to perform in front of your peers as a teen, and the crowd at those events is so supportive,” said Palamara.

Photo by Normandy Studios
Lily Cassidy (left) and Diana Li (right) performing at Foilo Coffeehouse Jan. 10

WHS freshman Ronnie Aronson said that she goes to the Coffeehouses because “they are so much fun and everyone can express themselves and feel comfortable.”

Part of the appeal of Folio to many members is the fact that it provides an inclusive, creative and nonjudgmental environment for students.

“Any type of person can be involved in Folio. You can be a jock, you can be a dude, you can be a girl, you can be gay, you can be anything you want and you can join this club. We have people from every section of the school in this club,” said Folio Corresponding Editor Talia Remba.

Click here if you are interested in learning more about Folio, attending or performing at a future Coffeehouse, submitting a piece or reading last year’s magazine.

*Click the pictures to link to Normandy Studios