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Poetry Reading and Visual Art Display at Kishwaukee College

Sandra Morales, Bilingual Editor

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April 6, 2017 — Students from two different classes collaborated to create an art show titled Words that Paint, Colors that Speak. For this show, students from ENG 291 (Creative Writing; Poetry, and a Visual Art and Design (Instructed by Miles Halpern) classes banded together for the show.

For this show, the poetry students created their own poetry, and then the art students would create an art piece that was based on their own interpretation of the poem.

The poems and artwork are displayed currently in Kishwaukee’s Art Gallery (located near the library), until April 15th, 2017.

Photo by Laura Chiavini
Art and Poetry students listen intently to the readers.

Along with the art on display, students and staff presented a poetry reading, where students and some of the College’s staff members read original poems or poems by their favorite authors.

For Jessica Langston, a poetry student, taking the class was a great decision. “I decided to take a writing class in the hopes that I could learn to be more elaborate with my poems,” Langston said. “Most of my work is done at home with no structure, so I decided to take this class to experiment more.”

Photo by Laura Chiavini.
Poetry student Kyler Bunton reads his chosen poem.

In this poetry class, instructed by Ami Irmen, students practice creating poems with certain structure, such as sonnets, sestinas, and villanelles. “I prefer to just write down what inspires me,” Langston continued. “But that’s not to say structure’s not important. I love the different kinds of poems we’ve been working on; before this class I’ve never written a villanelle poem before.” The villanelle poem would be the hardest to create for Langston.

This poetry reading was the first time Langston had ever publicly read her poems and to her, it was nerve wracking. “Aside from the required speech course you need to take here at Kishwaukee College, I’d never read or spoken in public before. However, I enjoyed it; it was nice to share my work with others, and the audience was very engaged and invested in each reading. Overall, it was a nice experience. When you read a poem, you can pause where you need to, so the audience can really be ingrained in the poem, rather than just reading for the context,” Langston said. This poetry reading inspired Langston to consider reading out loud again in the future.

While poetry reading has been done annually by Irmen’s class before, this year marked a first to collaborate with an art class.

Poems and art pieces can be viewed at the Kishwaukee College Art Gallery.

Photo by Laura Chiavini
Librarian Tim Lockman begins the reading.

Photo by Laura Chiavini.
Poetry student Spencer Siebeck reads an original with passion.

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Poetry Reading and Visual Art Display at Kishwaukee College