Potter College News
Students Share Poetry at Literary Open Mic Night
- Christina West
- Wednesday, March 30th, 2022
The WKU English M.F.A. program hosted a Literary Open Mic Night on Thursday, March 24, in Cherry Hall 135. All majors, including both undergraduate and graduate students, were welcome to read their poems, flash fiction, and other creative pieces they wanted to share.
Each participant chose to read one to three of their pieces. Some were comedic and fun, while others dealt with serious topics. Regardless, reading work in front of a live audience can be extremely beneficial for creatives.
M.F.A. Program Director and Professor Dr. Tom Hunley read a poem from his poetry book, What Feels Like Love: New and Selected Poems. He encourages individuals to participate in future open mics. “I think it's important for poets to get in the habit of listening to their own poems out loud. The oral tradition existed before print, and sound effects play a key role in poetry. Additionally, reading and writing can be isolating, and live readings help poets find community,” Dr. Hunley stated. “I would tell nervous people to join us—we are blessed to have a supportive, caring writing community here at WKU.”
The experience of sharing poems and other writing can be intimidating yet rewarding. Many of the participants prefaced their poems by explaining that this was their first time reading work in front of a live audience. One such participant was creative writing and theater major Ariel Alexander, who shared her first-ever poem. “This poem was about my childhood abuse from my mom. So, with it being the first poem that I ever wrote and then sharing it with an audience, I was really nervous and thought that I was going to cry. But after it was over, it felt like a weight off my shoulders,” said Alexander. “It was fun. I didn't think that it would be, but I really enjoyed it."