UVU’s intermediate poetry writing class organized a poetry open mic on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center. At this poetry reading night, students exposed people to poetry who hadn’t had much previous experience.

The night began with the students, who are in intermediate poem writing (ENGL 3440), reading their poems. It then was followed by an open mic section, where everyone was welcome to share their poems. When the event finished, everyone gathered to enjoy the refreshments and chat about the event.

As everyone has a different approach to poetry, students came together and shared their opinion of poetry through their “painting of words.” The main purpose of the event was to bring poetry to the public. Austin Gottler, a creative writing major, pointed out that poetry is everywhere. He said, “You just have to look closely and you can see poetry in all manner of life.”

Gottler said, “I think when people hear poetry, sometimes when they see poetry, I really think they learn how to open themselves up more, how to paint pictures with words.”

Nathaniel Bunker, majoring in physics and creative writing, said, “It is valuable to have poetry in the public, because of the fact that people are able to have the better understanding of the English language and all of the inherent quality of it.”

Brock Jones, an English professor at UVU, said, “We have a fantastic time here. It’s been fun, it’s been touching, and it’s been moving.”

An audience member, Danna Blocker, enjoyed listening to students’ poems as well. She said, “I think it’s great that the students are able to share their work.” Blocker mentioned that in these poems, she heard a lot about the writer’s feelings and the theme of figuring out one’s identity.

At the end of the open mic portion, Jones finished up with his feelings about how poetry for him is a way of living. Jones is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He remembered that when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan, he would read poetry to maintain the humanity that he felt he was losing. He said, “[Writing poetry helps me] to take some tremendous experiences and turn them into an object that I can look at and I can think about outside of my own mind.”

Chun To Mok

Arts & Culture Staff Writer