By KIRSTEN QUARFORTH
A single spotlight makes a circle on the slightly elevated stage. The pool of light envelops the poet balancing on a small wooden stool, orally reciting a poem he labored over. The audience fell silent for a moment, before they begin to snap their fingers.
The Campus Programming Board held their open mic night on Sept. 27, at the Underground. As a part of CPB’s “spotlight” series, the Creative Writing Club hosted an open mic night to showcase student work. While the event was open to anyone who wanted to read, club members were the primary readers.
Standing up on a stage can be nerve-wracking for anyone, especially a writer reading their original works. Those in attendance listened attentively as the deafening music in the Underground dimmed and Olivia Lehman, the Creative Writing Club’s President, took the stage.
Lehman began the event with three poems, including one titled “The Moon.” After she finished reading, she encouraged everyone to share their reactions to any pieces. Lehman went on to say that listening ears were always appreciated, but reactions can tell the writer more of what the audience felt about the piece and provides helpful criticism.
Prose and poetry, read by members of the Creative Writing Club, included “Topography,” “Broken,” “Panic is a Bathroom Sink” and “20 Miles Outside Valley City North Dakota,” among others. Topics ranged from broken hearts, lost friends, to family and self-discovery.
It seemed as though the longer poems were preferred by the presenters. “20 Miles Outside Valley City North Dakota” was picked for its length, an unusually long one for the writer.
While some club members said their names, most writers did not. They simply wanted to get into reading their pieces. Each read in a clear, loud voices with fluctuations in their tone. It was akin to what teachers want when they ask students to read with feeling.
The way the pieces were read, was so inspiring that some audience members decided to share their work on a whim. Since there was no one left on the list who wanted to speak, the enthused audience members filled most of the remaining time.
“It was very exciting to see the turnout we got and I’m happy so many people participated,” said Lehman. She ended the night by encouraging the audience to join them at club meetings in Creative Writing Mansion on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.