Thursday, September 29 marked Quadworks’ first Poetry Jam, hosted by Jittery Joe’s. Several Mercer students read, and members of the Dulcimer staff were present to distribute past editions of the literary and arts magazine.
The sweet smell of coffee filled the air as I slipped into Jittery Joe’s. I glanced around the room, noting the assortment of people, as I tiredly fell into a chair in front on the impromptu stage. The audience hushed as the first woman took the stage; as if lit by an unknown force, her words took off, filling the heavily-lit room. The words spun in the room, building up in a beautiful frenzy as she finished another poem and took her place, adding to the energy of the room and setting precedent for the night.
One of my favorite pieces of the night came from a senior here at Mercer, Chantelle Young. It was a piece she wrote responding to Mrs. Martha Gram’s quote “The body is a garment,” titled “To Mrs. Martha”. It was beautifully crafted and spoken with emphasis in all the right areas. Despite being nervous, Chantelle spoke her writings from memory with such confidence and poise that it inspired me to perhaps share my own work in the future.
In performing poetry, Chantelle found that “It feels so good to say it aloud; it feels so freeing.” Not only is it releasing for the author, but also for the audience.
The best part about the evening was being able to relate to others through their words. The words and the story behind the poetry becomes so captivating that it soon becomes not only about the writer’s experience, but instead transforms the story into a group experience.
Another poet of the evening that I really enjoyed was Chris Tyler Young, who is in his second year here at Mercer as a mechanical engineer student. He shared two beautiful pieces titled “Symphony,” and they were a sweet remembrance.
Young desired to share his work because “everyone has something to give, and this is my little bit to give.”
It was my first time at a poetry reading and it was wonderful; never have I experienced such an artistic expression. Over fifteen writers shared their work with the eagerly-listening audience. This was the second Poetry Jam sponsored by Quadworks and there is more to be planned in the future. Taey Wright, a new member of Quadworks, is in full support of the poetry reading, agreeing that it’s “a really good opportunity for students to come express their creativity, and it’s something that everyone can enjoy.”
If you missed this Poetry Jam, rest assured that there will be another in the spring semester, but if you can’t wait until then, the Dulcimer is always accepting pieces to be reviewed and added into the magazine to become published in the spring edition. Audra Jones, Mercer senior and editor-in-chief of the Dulcimer, said, “I’m glad that Quadworks has taken on an active role in keeping poetry alive. It’s a pleasure to know that my love of the written word is shared by others.”