A Poetry-Filled Afternoon, Before COVID-19

Matthew Watson, Staff Writer

There was a time when students could enjoy events in close proximity to one another. Before this pandemic, an Open Mic Poetry session was an example of that. One such session was on Feb. 15, held in the now vacated Science Center by Ethan Gofman and Marianna Szlyk, who are no stranger to poetry workshops and poetry as a whole.

At its peak, there was roughly 30 people in attendance, with more than half of them going up to perform their poems. Among the dozens of stories and experiences that were told, there was a wide variety of topics, ranging from historical, to comedic, to more personal and emotional. Interestingly enough, there were even two poems dedicated to moths.

“My professor offered this as extra credit,” said Anthony Righter, who attended the event as an optional assignment for Professor Farley’s ENGL 122 course. “I was skeptical at first, but now I’m really enjoying it. It’s definitely a new scene for me; it’s something that you’d have fun and not necessarily have to talk.”

One attendee that stood out to me went up to speak his poem, titled “Have a Conservative Glow,” that was probably the most politically charged out of the bunch.
The attendee, who wished to remain anonymous, reflected, “It was about being conservative and how liberal presidents are commonly viewed as good and not able to be criticized…”

“It’s great to people to be able to get up and read their poetry” noted Victoria Foote-Blackman, a regular attendee and speaker at Open Mic Poetry session. “I think it’s really neat to be able to listen to people’s poetry and to also see the difference how a poem sounds in your mind, and then how it’s presented, bc it’s not just about writing poetry, it’s also about performance too.”