Poetry society hosts first open mic night

February 19, 2018


Staff Reporter | hej006@latech.edu


The open mic night gave students the chance to share original works with their peers. – Photo by Hannah Jones


Students listened as classmates and other unknown fellow students shared a little vulnerability at the Tech Poetry Society’s first open mic event on Feb. 1. Students from all over campus met to share poetry from their favorite poets or their own original poetry.


The president of the Poetry Society, senior English major Caitlyn Petrus, was proud of the turnout for their first open mic night. She hopes that the examples set by the Poetry Society members and the other volunteer readers would impact other students to explore their own self-expression.


“It’s been a really good crowd,” Petrus said. “I’m happy that everyone came out and are able see that others their age are writing and sharing their poetry. They’ll see that they can write too, as an outlet, as a way of meditating or a way of escape.”


As a freshman, Spanish major Jane Waller is experiencing the event with only half of a year with the Poetry Society under her belt. She said she sees value in this poetry-centered community as a haven in the uncertainty of creativity, even for those who are not explicit members of Poetry Society.


“I didn’t know what to expect.” Waller said. “I’m very ecstatic that we had a few people who are not members of Poetry Society present something. Anytime you do anything creative, you want to share it with people, but it’s also very scary to share it with people, so just having a safe space with other creators is a very welcoming thing to have.”


These students demonstrate that amidst the tests and projects, poetry allows flexibility and creativity, thinking beyond structural boundaries and expressing the inner self. Erin Singer, assistant professor of American literature and faculty adviser for the Poetry Society, supports these students’ passions for expressing different angles of themselves through poetry.


“Students here at Tech, like students everywhere, are always more than what they seem,” Singer said. “I think all of us — students, faculty, staff, human people — would do well to remember that people are sort of multi-faceted and multi-layered and perhaps we only know one or two sides of them. This is sort of a new side that they are able to show of themselves.”


Tech’s diverse student population can cause students to sometimes feel isolated in their own personal stresses. But poetry, as believed by Lawrence Irchirl Jr., a freshman kinesiology major, allows students to see that they are not alone. He sees the open mic night of sharing personal poetry as a way to connect with other students who may be going through similar struggles.


“It doesn’t matter what background we come from, it doesn’t matter what happens to us on a daily basis, everybody has problems,” Irchirl said. “You see that at open mic night where everybody’s problems are now put on display. People will think ‘Oh, yeah, I had that problem too, but I thought I was the only one, so I didn’t say anything about it.’ But with everyone’s problems on display, you know that you aren’t the only one out there who had heartbreak, or the only one who had family members go down the wrong road. You’re not the only one out there.”


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