September 23, 2020

Students wow with poetry at Reading Series

Poetry dominated the second Student Reading Series (SRS) of the semester, held in the New Library auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Promoted by ‘ink,’ the College’s creative writing organization, the readings support creative expression among students at the College.

Rachel Kreller, sophomore English major, began the night with four of her poems.

The majority of her poems carried a central theme, consistently reflecting on her experiences with people throughout her life.

“This poem is based off an inappropriate third grade friend of mine,” Kreller said before reading “What Felix taught me in third grade art class.” The poem details her elementary school experience with watching a friend draw an anatomically-correct donkey.

Kristina Cusenza, freshman English education major, shared four of her poems as well. Two of the poems, titled “Letters from Mom” and “Roots,” portrayed descriptions of Cusenza’s mother.

“We have strange relationship. We love each other and we hate each other at the same time,” Cusenza explained.

In “Roots,” she depicts how she views her mom by relating it to her mother’s love of flowers. “She is a daisy. Beautiful and stubborn. The strongest creature alive,” Cusenza said in her poem.

Cusenza first discovered the opportunity to share her poems at the SRS through a friend and submitted some of her poems to ‘ink.’

“I was excited when I got the e-mail saying that my portfolio was chosen to be read. I just chose a few poems that I was most comfortable reading,” Cusenza said.

Tara Conte, senior English major, lightened the mood of the evening, providing comic relief with her humorous poems and her quirky narrative in between readings.

Conte revealed that her obsession with Benjamin Franklin became the basis of the poem “Return to Janet.”

The woman in the poem has an affair with the Ben Franklin impersonator at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

“I try to inject humor into all my writing. I think it’s something the audience can relate to,” Conte said.

The audience seemed to most relate to Conte’s poem “Sev,” describing that one cool place to hang out back home as a teenager.

“Nothing else matters when you’re 15 years old hanging out in the 7-11 parking lot,” Conte said as an introduction to the poem.

The evening was a success, with the audience reacting positively to all of the readers.

“It was fun. The other two readers were really talented,” Cusenza said.

The SRS is held three times per each semester. While the recent readers have preferred poetry, the SRS welcomes fiction and non-fiction readings as well.

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