MHS Teacher Tom Snarsky Publishes His First Book

One of Malden High School’s faculty members, Tom Snarsky, has recently had his very own book published in Chicago’s Press. The book is titled “Threshold” because the collection of poems were written after he met his fiance and its title is a representation of one part of his life entering another; or as he also likes to call it, “weirdo love poems.”

The online version of the book is on a website called “Another New Calligraphy” and the publisher at the press, Bill Ripley, designed the cover of the book, meant as a visual of a threshold that means a line you cross over, and incorporated the door into the design and used the color purple because it is Snarsky’s favorite color.

Though this is Snarsky’s first time getting a print publication of his work, he has gotten published in small groups of pdfs online, such as a “chapbook” where poems are only up to 40 pages long and placed together in one file. He has also been in print magazines before but they were all shared with other people and so as his first print copy has now been released, he is “very excited.”

The most challenging obstacle that Snarsky says he had to face, in hopes of reaching success, was “finding a press that was interested. There are many people in the world who have poems that they want published and taking the time and effort to put a whole book together, is a big commitment. Especially because it costs money to print, too.”

Thomas Snarksy. Photo from 2016-17 B&G Archives.

Snarsky also admits that just because he now has a book, does not mean he did not face rejections in the process. “[He] had sent books out before and got some acceptances and some have also said no. But that is always apart of it.”

Snarsky also found it difficult to write some of his poems because they are “about being in love with somebody but some of them are also about how that could hurt sometimes.” An example being that in one of his poems, he wrote about a vacation that he took with his fiance that went “really south. The car even had to get pulled out of a snowbank and everything just went wrong. But the poem is ultimately about how the world can be doing all this stuff to [people] yet somehow in the end, it all works out because you have the person you love.”

A teacher that inspired him to write this book was Evan Mauser. He mentored him three years ago when Snarsky student taught here at MHS and says the reason he helped inspire him is because “[he remembers] being really excited that there was a math teacher who participated in Poetry Out Loud with him and has ever since competed with [him].” He was also motivated to write by “the lively writing community at Malden High, including the work the English department does on creative writing (especially Poetry Out Loud) and the Writers' Den. Along with all the students who have been a part of the Literary Society at any point during the year and the philosophy club members who have all been inspirational to [him] as well.”

Junior, Patricia Esteves, met Snarsky her freshman year of high school when she started going to his room because her friends had him as a teacher. As she went more and more often, she got to know him better and created a relationship with him. Esteves mentions that philosophy club was created because her and Snarsky often discussed certain issues about “how the justice system fails people in some occasions and how [it is] racially motivated, and this somehow led to the club. [He is] a very genuine person who only cares about the best in people and [it is] because of this that [she] wanted to do something for him in return, and so [she] helped him make the club.” Esteves also says that “[she] really liked that about his personality and so [she] only wanted to ever be around that.” Although, Esteves has only read a few pieces of his book, “[she] already knew that he was really into poetry and [it is] nice to see his work being acknowledged.”

Another member of the philosophy club, Junior Rodge-Neima Joseph, says “[he is] really nice and [she] would go to him if [she] had a problem because [she trusts] him.” Joseph adds on by saying she is “happy that [Snarsky] wrote a book. When you see a teacher, [you would] think that they only focus on the subject that they teach and nothing else, but [he is] a math teacher, not an english teacher, and [he is] writing books about poetry and he shows you that variety and [she likes] that.”

Adding onto a similar thought, Mauser bought a copy of the book and “is very impressed that he put a book together because [he] [did not] know [Snarsky] had written so many poems to do so and [he] wanted to support that endeavor.” It is also important to him that he reads Snarsky’s collection of poems because “[he] wanted to marvel at [Snarsky's] poetic talent, given his strong interest in reading and writing poetry.”

When Snarsky read his first contemporary poetry book, he remembers feeling like “this is weird but [he] also kind of get[s] where [you are] coming from and that was such a huge part of why [he] bothered to continue writing.”

The sole purpose of his book was to express his feelings towards his soon to be wife and the life he has lived and will continue to live with her, through the use of poetry. When reading his poem, he wants his readers to remember that “love is weird and [it is] okay to write about it that way.”

Sabrina Monteiro

Sabrina Monteiro is a senior and joins the Blue and Gold for her final year as Managing Editor of Web and Mobile Apps. She first joined the Blue and Gold because her 7th grade teacher involved her in blogging and she was also required to write free writes every night for homework, all igniting a passion for connecting to a greater audience. This is where her 8th grade counselor advised that she should develop her passion for writing, fashion, and decorating by joining the Blue and Gold. Since then, Monteiro has grown an appreciation for travelling with hopes to go to Paris and recently achieved this dream last year while also having gone to the Bahamas this summer. Over the past few years, Monteiro has enjoyed creating new relationships in an environment where everyone is interested in the same things and hopes that she can continue her passion for journalism in the future as a broadcast journalist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.