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Emmanuel held its first Poetry Café in celebration of National Poetry Month on Wednesday April 5. The Cardinal Cushing Library and the English Department cosponsored the event. It took place in the library’s Rare Book Room on the second floor.
Those attending enjoyed cookies, brownies, and hot beverages served outside the rare book room. A large semicircle of chairs was set up within the room, and a Poetry Café bookmark was placed on each one. Students, librarians, and professors quickly filled the space.
Reference/Instructional librarian Dominique Barrault introduced the event and expressed her hope to keep it “really informal.” She invited students and faculty members to read their own poems or some of their favorite works.
Most of those who chose to share a poem read from his or her seat. Snaps from across the room met the end of each reading. Kayla Lantos ’17 read several of her own pieces including “Survival” and “Memorial”.
“I’ve only ever done it in classroom settings before so it was a good opportunity to share with a few more people,” she said after reading at the Café, “It was fun to hear other people share their work too.”
Students also attended to listen to their classmate’s poetry. Meghan Lindsay ’19 came with her Editing and Publishing a Literary Magazine class, as many students publish their original poetry through this medium. Lindsay ‘19 said she attended to support her peers as they read their work aloud.
Barrault invited everyone to look through poetry books scattered across a table for guests to enjoy, and to check out a poetry display on the library’s first level. She and other attending librarians also informed students about the library’s new “check mark books”. The library is evaluating which books to keep because many are duplicates or available online. Books with a check mark signal that students are welcome to take them home after informing a staff member at the reference desk.
Barrault gave a reminder of national “Poem in Your Pocket Day”, which takes place on April 27. She hopes the Poetry Café will be an annual event.
Haley Biermann ’19 is the Managing Editor Elect and a Staff Writer of The Hub. She can be contacted at email@example.com.