Jan-Henry GrayWhere can students, faculty, staff and administrators get together outside of the classroom for stimulating discussions on works of poetry? The Learning Commons’ Poetry Corner series was designed exactly for this. Here’s what happened this fall:

In September, Puente Learning Community co-coordinator and English Professor Lucia Lachmayr read to her students from works of poetry representing LatinX voices. Students discussed the poems and read aloud from their own works of poetry.

In October, queer Filipino American author Jan-Henry Gray treated his audience to readings and discussion centered around his new work Documents (New Poets of America). A group of more than 25 students discussed his work intensely and read some of their own original poetry as well.

On November 19, 2019, Communications Studies Professor Vincent Chandler read works by Native American poet b:william bearhart. The audience was short on students but not lacking in librarians, who put their usual roles aside to shyly try their hand at interpreting bearhart’s poetry. Librarians were joined by two engaged students, Language Arts Division Dean and Professor Chris Gibson, and therapy dog “Bella” and her owner, courtesy of the Peninsula Humane Society’s therapy dogs event that took place earlier that day.

It’s part of the mission of Library outreach events to bring together people who might not otherwise meet. Thanks to all who turned out for a poetry experience this fall. Bookmark the Library’s Poetry Corner series page and stay tuned for spring poetry events in 2020!

Poetry Corner is supported by a President’s Innovation Fund (PIF) grant.

Questions? Contact Pia Walawalkar at walawalkars@smccd.edu.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp | Photo by Marie Kyla Perez

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