Spring into National Poetry Month

Lafayette celebrates National Poetry Month with an array of events this April

EveryApril, Lafayette celebrates National Poetry Month, allowing the community to come together and show appreciation for the art of poetry.

The events consist of poetry readings by professionals and those new to poetry alike, along with readings from student winners of poetry competitions.

The annual H. MacKnight Black Competition, which was held this past Thursday, is open to senior poets and judged anonymously by a poet of national or international distinction. This year, Brenda Shaughnessy judged the competition, and the winners are Julia Guarch for “Our Beloved Miracle Man”and Allison Reich for “3:37 a.m.”

The winning poets shared their works at the H. MacKnight Black Poetry Reading, the same event where Shaughnessy read her works.

Students and professional poets also share their works together at The Jean Corrie Reading & Ice Cream Social, which will feature poet Jared Harel. The event will be followed by open mic and a question-and-answer session.

“Jared Harell is a young poet who’s very dynamic and generous, so we’re excited about him being with us,” said Lee Upton, who spearheads the organization of the events of National Poetry Month at Lafayette.

Harel also judged the Jean Corrie Poetry Contest, which was won by Christine Calella for “Out, Out, Damn Stone.”Nicole Bauer received honorable mention for “The Beast.”

Those students who won the two competitions will have their poems featured in The Marquis Literary Magazine. The contest winners are “the only thing in the magazine that we don’t directly review,” Co-Editor of The Marquis Luke Wasacz ’16 said.

Following Poetry Month, the literary magazine will host a launch party to celebrate the magazine’s release.

Another staple of Poetry Month is the Favorite Poem Reading. The Arts Society organizes the event, along with their advisor Allison Quensen Blatt. All members of Lafayette’s community are welcome to send a poem that they would like to share at the event.

“It’s just so much fun to hear people tell stories really about why they like the poems,” Blatt said. “Especially when it’s people that you know, but you had no idea about this particular piece of information about them.”

Another aspect of this event, and poetry month as a whole, is that its participants are students and professors from all different disciplines, according to Blatt. It coincides with the Art Society’s focus on the idea that anyone can embrace art in some way.

Poetry Month will also include the New Writers’ Cabaret, which will feature work from the Advanced Creative Writing classes in both poetry and fiction.

Another event that of this year is The Eco Arts Event with Open Mic Reading & Art Gallery, which is sponsored by the English Club and LEAP.

“April’s such a busy month,”Upton said.“It’s really wonderful to celebrate the intensity and possibility in words and in poetry.”