By Jessa Gianotti
INK, the creative writing club at the College, gathered students and faculty for an intimate night of poetry and creative prose readings at its Student Reading Series on Tuesday, April 28, in the Library Auditorium. The event was hosted by INK’s treasurer, Rachel Friedman, and featured readings from three students — Jonathan Edmondson, Samantha Miller and Marryam Naqvi.
Edmondson, a sophomore journalism major and arts & entertainment editor at The Signal, started the evening with six spoken word poems and one original prose piece: a prequel to the British novel “Rebecca,” in the form of a love letter written by the main character, Rebecca.
Edmondson’s poetry captivated the crowd from beginning to end, starting with a piece entitled “September Sunburn,” which was inspired by the sunburn he received over this past spring break. He also read a poem called “Secondhand Smoke,” a piece that he wrote an hour before the show after being inspired by a conversation with a friend.
Most of his work can be found on his Tumblr page, he explained, as he proceeded to read a piece called “Lifeline,” which was a culmination of quotes from his Tumblr, dating back to August 21, 2009. This piece drew a range of emotions from the audience from laughable one-liners about finals week, to more solemn topics about life and love that were relatable to many in the room.
The next speaker was Naqvi, a junior English major that transferred to the College for the Fall 2014 semester from Brookdale Community College. James Cody, a former professor of Naqvi’s from Brookdale, introduced her performance by comparing her to flattering characters from Shakespeare’s works and describing her switch from a pre-med science major to an English major.
“After taking a few English courses in college, I realized that it was a field that I truly felt passionate about, and made me feel as though my brain was working, thinking and creating,” Naqvi said. She debuted her creative talents at the series with 11 different poetry and prose pieces.
The Student Reading Series gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents in creative writing, and many times, students like Naqvi use the series as an opportunity to branch out and recite their poetry for the first time in front of an audience.
The third and final performance was by Samantha Miller, a sophomore English and secondary education double major with a classics minor, who also read her poetry for the first time at the reading series.
In the words of Miller, it was obvious that she was a classics minor after hearing her read 10 different prose and poetry pieces, some focusing on mythological creatures, such as the Sirens.
“I think they went well. I was super nervous, but once I was up there, I just sort of went with it,” Miller said. “I had fun up there. But I loved hearing my peers’ work, too — the Student Reading Series is one of my favorite events on campus.”
While this was the last of two Student Reading Series events this semester, the series will return in the fall with two more shows.