Students, professors showcase creative talents

The end of the semester signifies the winding down of classes, signs of summer and for the culturally inclined, a fusion of arts in the Rathskeller. ?

On Saturday, the Rat was once again host to the all-day student arts festival, The Goods. The biannual festival, hosted by Ink, is a celebration of writing, music and creative work. This semester’s edition brought a compilation of poetry and prose readings, solo and group musical performances, as well as a performance by headliner Matthew Rohrer.

Rohrer read from his three books of poetry “A Green Light,” “Satellite” and “A Hummock in the Malookas,” as well as “A Plate of Chicken” which will be available May 15. In a voice that mirrored his poetry, Rohrer read the subtle hilarity of his poems with gentle passivity.

Rohrer addressed the aspiring writers throughout his performance. In reference to his own focus on heat in his poetry, Rohrer encouraged young writers to identify their own emotions.

“Something you hate, you have to attack it in your writing, then it will become your slave,” Rohrer said. ??

Freshman biology major Anh-Chi Do initiated the student portion of the performances with a reading of her poetry addressing her reconciliation of her American and Vietnamese heritages.?

Audience members were jolted by the forceful slam poetry of sophomore interactive multimedia major Esteban Martinez. His command of voice, words and movement in topics ranging from powerful reflections on ego to graphic innuendo compelled the audience to respond. ??

“You all can’t be dead on this one, because I’m going to give a lot of energy,” Martinez said.?

Freshman international studies major Margaret Pakutka kick-started the musical portion of the day with two originals from her demo “Rooftop Garden,” which she distributed to the audience. Ending with an acoustic version of “It’s Getting Hot In Here,” she warmed up the audience with laughter and her relaxed eclectic sound. ?

A favorite of The Goods, “() and the Best Valentine’s Day Ever,” consisting of sophomore philosophy major Ross Heutmaker on guitar and both junior elementary education major Christie McMahon and English major Enrico Bruno on vocals, also got the audience laughing with altered covers of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Kanye West’s “Heartless.” ?

Students weren’t alone in showcasing their talent. Professor of creative writing Jess Row delivered a slightly raspy, but soothing acoustic version of Jawbreaker’s “Kiss the Bottle.”

Katie Brenzel can be reached at