Christina Collins Burton
The beauty of the written word is being recognized with the establishment of the Poetry club at the University of La Verne.
The group focuses on both written poems, and slam poetry which is normally spoken in front of a group. These types of poems show the speaker’s passion for the topic they are addressing while on stage.
The club originally started out as a series of student-run workshops hosted by senior adviser to the club DeAntwann Johnson.
“Last year DeAntwann would host workshops and it was fun being able to write.” Ariel Devore, secretary of the Poetry Club, said. “Since he is going to graduate soon, we started the club so people could get more of a feel for it.”
“We started the workshops in late March, early April and we would get together and write, share or just watch videos on YouTube of professional slammers,” Johnson said.
The club focuses on written and spoken poetry and gives those interested an opportunity to express themselves among peers who share their passion.
While the poetry club doesn’t demand you write, president of the club Eric Espinoza encourages people interested to put time and effort to join the organization at its meetings.
“We are looking for people who have a general interest in poetry and actually enjoy it and want to be able to compete for a slam team if they want to get to that extent,” Espinoza said. “You could even just be one of the people in the audience that snaps.”
Since the club began based on workshops, the group hopes to continue the trend to expose members to the different types and styles of poetry there is.
“Some of the actual exercises are going to be a little off and you’re going to be wondering why you’re doing this but you’d be surprised the type of work you can come up with,” Espinoza said.
The club will focus on two styles of workshops.
The first is a simple writing workshop in which participants are given exercises to get them started on writing poetry.
The workshops will either be hosted by a member of the club, or a guest poet.
The second type of workshop would be group writing sessions that would give participants the chance to work on any piece they want to improve.
“I hope we’re able to host workshops at least once a month to help people express themselves through poetry; it’s a good experience,” Devore said.
To help realize the club’s eventual dream of a slam team to represent the University in 2012, the club is helping organize a slam competition that will take place Dec. 7 for the students to share their work and be judged on it.
“We want to make it as much as a competition as much as it is a show,” Espinoza said.
The competition gave the club the chance to see what kind of poets there are on campus.
“That’s going to be some of the best of the best that we’re going to have on and off of campus, coming out to perform for us and I think it would be an awesome opportunity for the students to see this is type of talent we have.”
The poetry club will continue to hold bi-weekly meetings starting again in spring semester.
For more information contact Espinoza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina Collins Burton can be reached at email@example.com.