Poetry Night: The Art of Opening Up


The night was one of laughter, solemnity and true artistic expression. Held in the Multicultural Center in the Kelly Student Commons, students of all grade levels met last Tuesday at 6PM to celebrate poetry and each other’s talents.

Before the night began though, coffee, cookies and doughnuts were offered to those in attendance and students ate and drank, conversing among those sitting in the room. Several students had attended the event in the past and several others were new to it.

Among these newcomers was graduate student and data analytics major, Kevin Garcia. Garcia, a commuter throughout his undergraduate years, was always interested in attending the event, but never had the chance to until this past Tuesday.

Initially nervous to share one of his poems, Garcia eventually shared over three poems, all of which were greeted with snaps of support. The poems varied in topic, but each one was inspired by things in his life.

“I feel like everyone has their own struggle and obstacles and it’s really good when we are able to have our voice heard because most of the time it’s always suppressed … I feel like everyone has something to say, but they just feel like they don’t have the power to say it or they’re too scared to say it. So the fact that we can come together with people that give [others] the ability to speak up, I think that’s when we start to become more human and that’s what’s most important,” said Garcia.

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The first poetry night of the semester took place in The Multicultural Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Lauren Schuster / The Quadrangle

Many others used their words and voices to express their thoughts in the open space last Tuesday as well and the subject matter was mostly an assortment of personal anecdotes. These anecdotes comprised topics of family, love, growth, hate, travels, and more.


Bryan McKeon, a sophomore civil engineering major and a member of the Multicultural Center events board, was one of the first students to share a poem that night. Once read, McKeon also provided an explanation to his poem, which is an aspect that he’d like to incorporate in future Poetry Nights.

“[The events board has been talking] about possibly [teaching poetry]. We can have a theme and show it to a group setting or audience and try to teach them certain things about a sonnet, what is it made out of, and what it is… stuff like that,” said McKeon.

Rabea Ali, a junior management and marketing major, and one of the regular participants of Poetry Night, shared a number of her own poems as well. For her, the experience is more than just being able to share her own poetry.

“There is a huge amount of talent on this campus and this is a good way for people to get together to both highlight that talent, enjoy good poetry … hear people’s thoughts, [and express yourself]” said Ali.

Ali also mentions that an event like this is important because of the circumstances and current climate of our world.

“It’s interesting to have a space where everyone of different views feels welcome because there are things that you might not have heard of … experiences that you have not been through yourself and hearing that perspective is like ‘Oh okay, I never thought of it that way’ and then it sticks with you,” said Ali.

McKeon and Ali both note that events like this would not be possible or successful without the dedication of students and other members of the events board. This success is reflected in those students who return and or tell their friends to attend.

“I would love to come back with much better poems. I really want more people come, to speak up and say what they want to say in a no judgment kind of environment … so I’d definitely come back,” said Garcia

Poetry Night is part of a series of events hosted by the Multicultural Center each semester. It is typically hosted every semester on the second Tuesday and last Thursday of each month.