Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

A new student group on campus is finding some time to rhyme. Poesis, a newly established poetry and spoken word organization on campus, is providing students with an opportunity to express themselves, as well as partake in a literary experience. Poesis’ mission is to give students the opportunity to convey ideas, thoughts and feelings through written word and verbal expression. West Chester University students Sabria Rogers and Zuri Stone created Poesis last spring semester. The idea to create Poesis began with Rogers and Stone discussing their love for poetry and spoken word as they were swinging their feet on the edge of a residence hall bed.

Both students had been passionate about poetry as an art form since they were younger and realized that there were very few opportunities on campus for students interested in poetry and spoken word. They recognized that there were various coffeehouses and open mic nights throughout the year, but they felt as though there was nothing that really “nurtured” poetry.

Rogers and Stone decided to take on the task of developing a new student group on campus. They spent late nights creating bylaws and hand picked an executive board that they knew would be dedicated to the art of poetry, just as they were. Rogers, Stone and their other executive board members promised one another that they would work hard to keep their poetic passions alive and use Poesis to support and encourage poets and spoken word artists everywhere.

The word Poesis means “the making of poetry.” It comes from a Greek word meaning “to make” and eventually became the English word poetry via “poesie” and “poesy.” Poesis is unique because it caters to all types of poets and spoken word artists. According to Rogers, many poetry clubs focus on form and the strict technicalities of writing poetry. While Poesis executive board members do try to educate their members on the “rules” of writing, they do not enforce these rules or have clearly defined rules of what poetry should be.

“We encourage students to write what is within them to be said. We embrace poetry as an expression. This organization is as unique as its writers whose souls, thoughts and words vary with their life experiences. We are here to nurture everyone’s creative side,” Rogers said.

Most organizations that showcase poetry through open mic events only cater to the poet who is comfortable speaking publicly. Poesis takes into consideration those who write, but may be uncomfortable or shy about performing or reading their poetry on a stage. At Poesis’ gatherings, students can comfortably share their talents and receive a clapping hand for their good work and recognition of their talents.

Poesis does do some open mic events, but the group likes to think out of the box when presenting and helping people learn the various aspects of poetry. Some of these other poetry events include “Paint your Poem” where students get messy with big sheets of paper and paint images of their poetry or spoken word art, having plays that connect the art of poetry with the art of theatre, and having events that look at the art of poetry in today’s popular music.

Poesis’ executive members make strong efforts to show their members that poetry is not just a person standing behind a microphone at open mic events. For Poesis members, poetry is what a person makes of it.

The month of November is filled with Poesis events:

 Nov. 9: “Paint your Poem” event.

 Nov. 14: Poesis teams up with the Black Student Union to do Xpressions, and open mic in Sykes Common Grounds.

 Nov. 15: Poesis teams with Black Men United to do Soul Food Sundays, a free sit- down soul food dinner in Sykes ballrooms with feature performances too.

 Nov. 16: Poesis kicks off LGBTQA’s Education for Equality Week with “Kaleidoscope”, a diversity auction in Sykes theatre.

 Nov. 20: Poesis teams up with SAC for the 2nd Annual Java Jam open mic night.

“Poesis is always looking for students to sign-up to perform and participate in our open mic events. We love to see new faces and encourage you all to bring your work to the stage!” Rogers said.

If a student does not want to perform, Poesis plans to publish a poetry magazine at the end of the year for poetry writers. Students can submit poetry into the whisper box that sits at all of their events.

Poesis meets every second and fourth Monday of the month in Sykes 252. The organization sometimes uses its regular meeting days to do big monthly open mic events, which may be held in locations other than Sykes 252. To keep up with what Poesis is doing and when and where it is meeting, students can join the Facebook group named Poesis or become a fan of Poesis on Facebook as well. In addition, Poesis has its own Web site at www.wcu-poesis.blogspot.com. Students may also send their on-campus address to the president, Sabria Rogers, at SR664727@wcupa.edu to receive a newsletter in the mail with all of the upcoming events, times, and locations.

Anna Moronski is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AM626969@wcupa.edu.

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