April was National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, Mines hosted its annual poetry reading in the sunlit library on April 8, 2016. Every year, a different collective of students from all over campus convene to share their poetry in front of a live audience.
Toni Lefton, Teaching Professor and High Grade faculty advisor, shared some of the history of this event.
“Creative writing has been a part of the Mines community for a long time. When we first started doing student readings for National Poetry Month, we chose to name it the Mines ‘Not-So-Dead’ Poetry Society after the film. It has taken place on the Mines campus since 2003, and this year is quite special for another reason: it happens to be the 20th year of celebrating National Poetry Month.”
Ten featured readers shared their works aloud, with some students having never met each other before that day. The reading served as a way to unite writers from every corner of campus, but also included the audience on a journey through different ways life is perceived. It was a kaleidoscope of emotion, talent, and voice.
Lefton also expressed that the poetry reading is a wonderful way to showcase the versatile talents of engineering students.
“You can be an aspiring writer and an aspiring engineer,” she said.
For those looking for creative outlets, there are many ways to get involved in writing organizations at Mines. There are several creative writing classes available for fiction, poetry, and even creative nonfiction.
“We are constantly increasing the offering capacity for these classes; it’s a dream of ours to someday have a creative writing minor,” said Lefton.
In addition, there is the Creative Writing Club, whose members contributed two collaborative poems to the poetry reading. The club maintains a blog of their members’ work, which can be found at the following link: csmcreativewriting.wordpress.com. If interested in joining, contact the club at email@example.com.
There is also the option to become involved in High Grade, the annual arts journal featuring the work of Mines students. This is the 40th year of its publication, and features an exclusive interview with Mines alumnus George Saunders. If interested in working on the next issue of High Grade, contact Toni Lefton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though National Poetry Month has ended, keep in mind that there are always opportunities to share creative spirit. Inspiration can be found in all kinds of places, even a library on a sunny afternoon.
Above: Samuel “Catfish” Alexander reads one of his poems in celebration of National Poetry Month. Photo by Ronald Kem.