The halls of the Johnson Museum filled with the echoes of students’ poetic voices from 7:30 to 9:30pm on Friday November 12 when the English and Museum Clubs co-sponsored a Poetry Night. Members and associates of the English Club took the mic for the first half of the night. During a short intermission, students were able to browse through the visiting exhibits. An open mic portion followed, where unpublished student authors had the chance to perform, as well did established student authors.
Kate Pascucci ’12 read two selections from the student publication Rain, of which she is editor in chief. Remanu Phillips ’12 read two of his original poems as did graduate student Abraham Burickson. Burickson’s selections centered on a character named Charlie and his personal struggles. Both were from his published chapbook Charlie, while Phillips’ poems appeared on loose leaf. Phillps’ poems had an improvisational feel that blended with his scat-like performance style. His poems often referenced his friends and elicited the audience’s laughter-in a good way. Kia Rogers ’13 briefly rapped about today’s society. Rogers’ message to look past stereotypes and live as an individual was not new to the audience, but his swift, soulful performance gave his message a fresh energy. Isle Bastille ’14 read an original poem structured around an elementary school student’s recitation of the alphabet. Each letter branched off onto a different topic, and the topics evolved from innocent anecdotes to a deep personal message regarding depression. These readers filled the first half of the night with a wide range of performance styles.
Many individuals walked through the tree-themed exhibit during the intermission. The tree exhibit featured drawings of trees, segments of trees, video installations involving trees, and a tree bench. The tree bench was the most dramatic piece of all. It consisted of one tree cut down the middle of the trunk from its root base to mid height, its two halves resting on the floor so that the flat side functioned as a bench. The tree drawings ranged from an amateur sketch of an African schoolchild to detailed pieces that left no twig undefined. Some tree drawings had an interestingly fuzzy appearance when viewed up-close, but morphed into trees when viewed from afar. After 20 minutes, the open mike portion began. Two male freshmen read self-reflective poems. Neither have yet been published in a student publication, but this event definitely gave them exposure that will hopefully lead to future publication.