Dead (and living) poets bring culture to campus

Students gathered on Friday, Sept. 16 to hear their classmates read both original and famous pieces of poetry. (Janika Berridge / Photo Assistant)

By Jack Meyers
Correspondent

In the dim light of Alumni Grove on Friday night, an eclectic group of students from the College shared some of their own poems as well as those of their favorite poets.

“If you’re a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar … come in!” read Gabby Salvemini, junior English and secondary education double major at ink’s “Dead Poets Society” event, a far-from-subtle reference to its namesake, a cult film.

“I’ve been reading poetry for the past four years,” said senior statistics and sociology double major and treasurer of ink, Lou Klein, “and I just love the opportunities there are for reading on campus.”

This particular reading event featured several staff members from ink (the student-run creative writing organization), including Alicia Cuomo, junior English and special education major and the Student Reader Series coordinator, Corey

Drake, senior English major and publicist for ink, and Samantha Zimbler, junior English major and president of ink.

Without a second glance, one could clearly comprehend the tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience the ink staff brought to the table on Friday night. The contributing students were equally impressive in reading proficiency and aptitude.

“I just sought to capture that feeling of closeness when you try to anticipate someone else’s emotions,” said Carly DaSilva, freshman open options major.

DaSilva read an original poem called “Space,” a crowd favorite, in which she spoke of “so much in such a space and in the smallness of the space, one inch. More or less.”

The crowd grew larger and more enthusiastic as the night went on.

“You’re welcome to sit on the ground and have it absorb your warmth,” Drake said sarcastically in the midst of a debate between whether sitting on the ground or on the benches would be more appropriate.

The event was rightly unstructured, as the ambience melded seamlessly with the free-spirited audience members. At one point, the poems were getting increasingly gloomy, resulting in a dispute arising about the prevalence of “happy poets.”

“Poets can’t be happy!” shouted Drake.

“I’m pretty happy right now,” gleamed DaSilva. This was the atmosphere that carried through for the next several readings.

Cuomo read a witty and enigmatically humorous piece from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Welcome to the Monkey House,” which she described as jarring, sexual and raunchy.

“He is very accessible to our generation,” said Cuomo, with regard to Vonnegut. “It’s a great blend of science fiction and politics.” Cuomo is a seasoned reader and writer who had her beginnings in front of an audience in the Library Auditorium, not unlike the Dead Poets Society.

“There’s a lot of advancement for writers here,” said Klein of the College’s vast opportunities for the arts community.

“Dead Poets Society” is one of these advancements, and it takes place every Friday night, from 7:30 until “whenever it ends.”