Poetry (and awkward silence) Night

On October 23, I attended Poetry Night put on by the Cougar Activities Board at Kudu. Basically, at this event College of Charleston students sign up to read some of their poetry, then a panel of judges (but not that formal) choose the five or six “best” poets. These poeple then have to write a poem about a silly or strange topic submitted by audience members (each poet has a different topic) in about 10 minutes. They then read their poems to the audience and a winner is selected. I went to a Poetry Night last year and it was great, so I was excited to go to this one. Unfortunately, plenty of poetry-lovers showed up, but not that many poets. Only five students signed up to read, so about twenty minutes in there was no one left to read. This was obviously not expected, and we took an awkward break, waiting for more people to sign up to read. Luckily, a few extra people let their friends talk them into reading their poetry off of their phones, some of the poets who already read then read additional poems, and one girl even sang a couple of her songs (a nice comeback). Since so few people read, the judges said all of them had to option to read again. I particularly enjoyed the special-topic-poem written by (and VERY well performed by) Derek Berry. Yes, it was so good that I remember his name. His topic was masturbation, and his entire poem was about “him writing poetry” but was actually a giant innuendo for masturbation. It was brilliant. (As was the food and coffee!)

From a management perspective, everything ran rather smoothly, however, I think the event could have been better advertised, particularly in regard to what exactly the event was. I could tell CAB used the same flyers from last year, they just changed the date. That seemed a little lazy to me, like they expected everyone to know exactly what their Poetry Night is like. I remember going for the first time last year and being completely surprised by how they ran the night. I feel like CAB should put a mini description on their flyers similar to what they have on the Facebook page; not everyone knows to check, or feels like checking online for this information. If CAB had done this, maybe more people would have shown up to share their poetry, and not just for the free food and drinks. If anyone is interested in going, it’s a really fun experience and I definitely recommend going! And read some poetry! There should be another Poetry Night next semester.

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