The David O. McKay Library invites students to celebrate National Poetry Month with a poetry reading showcasing student-written work on Friday, April 29 at 4 p.m.
For the last two years, the McKay Library has had to cancel its annual in-person poetry reading due to the pandemic. This year, they will gather for a group poetry reading in which seven students will take the stage and read their own work.
When Veronica Adair, student engagement librarian, heard this year’s theme was “There’s a poem in this place,” she thought student-written poetry, rather than published works, should be the focal point of the reading.
“I think it’s a really good way to show the creativity in the students instead of showcasing people who we’ve probably heard their poetry like a million times,” Adair said.
In addition to the reading, the library’s east wing features displays of student and faculty poetry and a “Build Your Own Poem” whiteboard with magnetic words. They will also host a viewing of the Academy of American Poets’ Poetry and the Creative Mind livestream on Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. in McKay 243. Notable public figures and celebrities such as Willem Dafoe will read their favorite poems.
Rebecca Dorny, the Mac lab supervisor, assisted with planning this year’s events and hopes students will appreciate the power of poetry. She believes the ambiguity of the genre allows for the development of support, understanding, empathy and new ideas in a way that other media can’t.
“It is a lot more open for interpretation,” Dorny said. “It’s a lot more meant for you to sit there and digest it and work with it — and to come out different than when you started.”
According to poetry.org, the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in 1996 to highlight the importance of poetry and the role poets play in culture. The organization provides resources, initiatives and activities for the public to increase their appreciation of the genre.
Registration for Friday’s event is encouraged but not required. Refreshments will be provided.