Poetry club offers opportunity for students self-expression

Katelyn Biedrzycki

Lis Sorensen, Channels Staff

Some people love sitting in quaint corners of dusty libraries reading soul-searching poems and scribbling into the dog-eared pages of their own journals.

The creative writing and poetry club at City College offers students a chance to do that in a friendly, constructive environment where their work can be read aloud and they can push their boundaries as authors.

“The club is for all the students who like to write and learn about writing. It’s a very valuable place for young scholars to go and be around other people who are also interested in becoming better at writing,” said club advisor Dr. Chella Courington.

The poetry club has been at City College since 2009. This year they decided to expand to both creative writing and poetry, in the hopes of appealing to a broader audience.

“Writers who may not be poets but who still like creative writing can join now and be a part of this wonderful group,” said Courington.

Not only can aspiring authors join the club to attend workshops and share ideas with other enthusiastic writers, but they are also offered countless opportunities to submit stories and poems to contests.

Many students have no idea about the countless competitions, many of which offer cash prizes that are constantly running.

“Thoreau’s Rooster,” a national journal for undergraduate creative nonfiction, has a yearly contest for writers to submit their work in the hopes of being featured in that year’s edition.

The club also provides students with opportunities to read at open mic nights or listen to world-renowned authors read their work.

Jason Crawford is the new club president.

“He’s got a lot of energy, enthusiasm; he’s smart. But there are a lot of people like that in the club and at the school,” said Courington, referring to the new president.

“Jason’s good at getting people to want to share,” said Courington.

Over the past few years the club has numerous interesting ways of showings students the value of being part of a writing circle and getting constructive criticisms from their peers.

One of the first presidents would have the club gather in a big circle and they would pass around a paper, each student adding a single line to the poem. The resulting piece would be an engaging composite of all the writers’ voices.

“I loved being in the club last year,” said club member Nia Mitchell, a sophomore and environmental studies-anthropology major. “I can’t wait for it to really get going again because it’s great for getting us to be more creative than we could be on our own.”

The club meets every Thursday from 5:00 to 5:50 pm in Campus Center Room 226, the same room they used to meet last year.