By Maria Fegeley
Coffee and snacks in hand, students sank into their seats as they prepared for a night full of poetry, music and laughter on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Students piled into the Cromwell Hall lounge, and talent poured into the room as performances of poetry, music and comedy spiced up the cozy lounge-turned-coffeehouse.
To showcase a range of student talent, three community advisers hosted the Fall Into Our October Coffeehouse, a TCNJ Residential Education and Housing event.
“TCNJ students have a diverse range of talents, and I wanted to plan an event that would give them an additional opportunity to showcase their talents to the campus community,” said Stanley Zheng, a senior nursing and public health double major. “I believed that the perfect way to celebrate the immense student talent we have on campus was through a coffeehouse event that would be publicized and open to the TCNJ community.”
Community advisers have the ability to plan monthly community events for their residential building. Students all across campus were able to perform.
In addition to poetry readings, the College’s Synergy Dance Company and Mixed Signals also performed.
Students read poems by their favorite writers and showcased their own original works. Alberto Gonzalez, a sophomore chemistry major, after reciting one of his favorite poems by Billy Collins, recited an impressive original poem — that he wrote that day in Eickhoff.
“I honestly just came up with idea on the fly,” Gonzalez said. “My inspiration was from a monologue from the movie ‘Patch Adams,’ which discussed the idea of life and death.”
Nicole Zamlout, a freshman English major performed two original pieces, “Of Concrete Deserts and Young Love” and “On Writing Someone Real.”
Passion and love fueled these pieces, the first poem about a summer love told from the perspective of a girl whose boyfriend moved away shortly after getting together, and the latter expresses the confusion felt by a young author after finally falling in love.
“I wanted to get them some air and exposure,” Zamlout said. “I wanted to see how people would react to them, so I figured this would be the best place to do it.”
Alyssa Joyce, a sophomore English and secondary education dual major, also shared works she admired. She recited her favorite passage from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith.
“It means a lot to me to be able to share something that resonated with me, and see if it resonates with other people,” Joyce said. “I love how different everyone is.”
The night did not end with poetry — a variety of singers took the stage, including some performing original songs. One such performer was Dylan Lembo, a sophomore international studies major.
“I don’t really have a long arduous process for song selection,” Lembo said. “I just kinda played what felt right.” Lembo performed songs he wrote within the past couple of years. His set consisted of original songs, “San Pellegrino,” “Boxer” and “Carrier Pigeon.”
“I really just played what sounded good on acoustic,” Lembo said.
Sean Delanoy, a junior interdisciplinary business major, performed stand-up comedy, and had the lounge erupting in laughter.
“Writing a joke and making it work on stage is like solving a math problem or fixing a machine — both of which I cannot do,” Delanoy said. “Once it’s done and ready for performing, I’m excited to see if other people will enjoy it.”
Though some of the performers were nervous about getting up onstage, they found nothing but support from the audience, and were glad for the opportunity to share what inspired them.
“Everyone was really cool and accepting of each other,” Delanoy said. “The atmosphere was great.”