Bluffton celebrates National Poetry Day with poetry slam

Photos and story by Hannah Brown

“I love writing poetry because it’s mysterious and beautiful. Poetry allows me to express myself without fully giving my feelings away.”

The words of Alissa Hauke can be related to by many Bluffton University students who shared a wide variety of poems Thursday night. October 6 was National Poetry day, a holiday that would go perhaps unrecognized on Bluffton’s campus if it weren’t for Mickie Gonwick.

“Poetry night was created in an effort to create community among students here at Bluffton,” Gonwick said. “I’m an RA here in Ropp, and my main goal is to create a sense of community and togetherness among residential students. I also just love poetry, so I figured with this holiday coming up it would be a great opportunity for students to hear their peers share poems they’ve written as well as their favorite poems from various authors.”

From poems about toddlers peeing their pants to inspirational tales about a loved one, there was an array of topics written about by Bluffton students and faculty present Thursday night.

One student poet, Demetrius Terry, shares what influences him to write his rap-like poems.

“Each poem I write is a story,” Terry said. “The way I use my words creates a story. I write about things I’ve seen, things I’ve done, and things I wish to change. Poetry is the only way for me to escape reality and express myself.”

Each of Terry’s three poems he shared moved the audience in some way.

“Demetrius’ poems were inspirational and honest,” said Liam Hoppe, who attended the slam. “The way he presented them was different and interesting to listen to.”

Gonwick said the slam was a success and with an outstanding turnout, she and faculty said they are already excited for next year’s event.

As famous poet Dylan Thomas said, “Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.”


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Hannah Brown

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