A Night of Self-Expression

Backroads Hosts It’s Annual Coffee House

It has always been a tradition for Alhambra’s Backroads to host a Coffee House every semester, and 2023’s spring semester is no exception. On April 27th, the Backroads club came together to create a night of coffee, poetry, and live performances, having just published their 2023 edition of the Backroads Magazine earlier that month. Held in Alhambra’s Black Box Theatre, audiences on April 27th saw the immense talent and creativity that only Alhambra’s own students could possess, mesmerized by colorful imagery, personal stories, and insight into the minds of the most artistic students.

“The best thing Backroads offers students at Alhambra is a judgment-free and open space for students to be themselves and express whatever they may feel through art,” says Dahlia Guidos (10), who performed her own piece called “Those Days.” 

“I enjoyed how safe I felt to be open and express myself on the stage,” Dahlia continues. “I think the environment, with the dim colored lights and people who are there to support you, whether they are in it or not, help you feel a lot safer and welcome.”

Marco Leon (12), who performed the pieces “What We Want” and “Fire Monster” at the Coffee House, says about the club, “For those who find themselves in a period of potency and frequency in their work, weekly meetings are great because it allows them a consistent way to share their art. Magazines act as a less stressful and performative way to get some eyes on your art while also recording it for years and even decades to come. And coffeehouses give the artist the feeling of instant connection to the people they are trying to reach. Which, really as a whole, is what Backroads is all about. The connection and the mirror that people who understand us can hold up.”

The Coffee House was led by Maren Shahade (12), who also acted as President of Backroads for the 2022-2023 school year. “I think the best thing that Backroads offers to students at Alhambra is a safe space to express themselves where they will feel welcomed and comfortable. To me, poetry is a form of alignment with myself. It helps me express myself while growing and understanding my inner struggles. But it is also a beautiful way for me to connect with my peers.” They hope that other students, both new and old, continue to express themselves through creative endeavors and continue to perform at the Backroads Coffee Houses.

Backroads is Alhambra’s creative writing club and includes students of all grades who come together to write poetry, creative writing pieces, perform, and be able to express themselves in a safe space. The club is supervised by Mr. Bonderud, and meets every Friday during lunch in his room.