ISU Writing and Media Center to host first Poetry Night event

The Writing and Media Center will host their first Poetry Night and welcomes any Ames and Iowa State community members to attend.

The event will be held at the Memorial Union Maintenance Shop from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 10 and promises to be an open space where anyone can share their poetry and prose. There will be light deserts and hot chocolate for the participants.

Originally intended to be exclusively for the Writing and Media Center staff, Poetry Night is a free admission event first of its kind. Regardless of prior experience, any student or staff can sign up before the event and share their original work. If any participant wishes to share a piece from an author of choice, Poetry Night also offers that opportunity.

Alexa Gormley, a graduating senior and one of the leaders of Poetry Night, said, “This will be a safe and welcoming space because a lot of the events that go on in Ames are hosted by actual poetry groups, and those can be intimidating. This will be a space for everyone and especially for beginners.”

Gormley also encourages students to not be afraid to read and use this opportunity to get involved in the poetry space. If participants are hesitant about reading in public, there is still a lot that can be learned from just listening.

The Memorial Union is known for hosting open mic events; however, there has never been an event exclusively for poetry. The Writing and Media Center’s goal is to create a space where students can get excited about writing in this medium and not be intimated by other art aspects that are usually featured in an open mic event.

Additionally, it is expected that other members of the WMC and Ames poetry groups will be attending “Poetry Night.” This opens the opportunity for a more engaging night where students can get feedback on some of their original work.

“Our goal is to make this an annual or semi-annual event depending on how this first one goes but we are really excited about it,” says Gormley. The Maintenance Shop will bring a different feel and hopefully enhance the overall experience.

For anyone interested in attending the WMC shared an example video from the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational that gives an idea of what a poetry event may look like.