Live poetry, music to be performed by Seward students

Student poets and musicians will have the chance to show their talent to the school and community at the second-annual Poetry Coffee House at 7 p.m. April 14 in the Shank Humanities Building band room.

SCCC/ATS students will be featured, reading their original poetry and playing acoustic guitar. The first, second and third place winners of the High School poetry contest, sponsored by the English department, will also read their winning poems.

The event coincides with National Poetry Month. Admission is free to anyone who would like to listen to the poetry readings and musical numbers. Hot coffee, flavored iced coffee, tea and a variety of snacks will be served.

English instructors Janice Northerns and Bill McGlothing are hosting the event. They felt it would give an opportunity for students to perform their unique talents.

“It was something we wanted to do for a while,” Northerns said. “There are lots of athletic events, but we wanted to draw in students with other interests like writing and reading.”

It’s also a new event for those in the community to have the chance to experience live poetry readings.

“There are few opportunities to listen to poetry,” McGlothing said. “We tapped into an audience that’s been there, who have an appetite for good writing.”

After last year’s success, they knew it would become an annual event.

“Everyone that came seemed to have a great time, and we got tons of positive feedback,” Northerns said. “It was awful weather, but there were still around 60 people there.”

Both have high hopes for this year’s Poetry Night as well.

“I hope everything goes as well as last year, because it was perfect last year,” Northerns said. “We had a great crowd, the students did a wonderful job of reading, and the music was great.”

They are still recruiting student writers who would like to read their original poetry.

“It gives writers a chance to go public, to be heard,” McGlothing said. “It’s fine to read a poem, but the whole experience is to hear it.”

Many of the readers will also be published in the Telolith, the school’s art and literature magazine, published every spring.

Featured SCCC/ATS student poets include Chris Bobeda, Gwen Friesen, Samantha Gillespie, Dana Loewen, Alexander Olinger, Jose Rodriguez, and Caitlin Workman. Poems by these students appeared in last year’s Telolith or are slated for publication in the upcoming issue. Original acoustic guitar music and vocals will be provided by Bobeda and Lindy Kowalchuk. McGlothing and Northerns will also read. Both are published poets and have read their poems at numerous conferences and events.

Any students who would like to participate in the Poetry Coffee House should talk to either Northerns or McGlothing. All are welcome to attend the relaxing evening of poetry, music, coffee and snacks.

“I hope we get a good audience with open ears, eyes and minds for a different kind of night out,” McGlothing said.