English major hosts poetry events

Senior English major Hannah Gloeckl is hosting a literacy campaign called “Poetry Matters” as her senior project for the Clarion University Honors Program.poetry matters

Gloeckl talked to professor Melissa Downes, who agreed to be her adviser on the project, and Gloeckl reported that the two of them came to the idea of “Poetry Matters” quite naturally.

The campaign focuses on the Clarion community and uses poetry as the medium because it is short form and easy to teach.

“Poetry Matters” consists of a series of events that cater to different age groups, including children, young adults and adults.

Past events included were graffiti poetry and a children’s poetry reading, both of which occurred last week. Graffiti poetry was an event where children were able to either bring their own poems or use one of the poems provided at the event, and write it in chalk on Main Street in Clarion.

The kids drew on the sidewalk in front of 537 Main St., which is the Clarion Community Learning Workshop. The children’s reading was at the Clarion Free Library, and the children who attended were there were able to listen to the librarians, Downes and Gloeckl read. The children had the opportunity to read poetry as well.

There are three more events coming up this semester. There will be a poetry reading on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Clarion Free Library. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, there will be a Halloween Haiku party for kids at 5 p.m. at the Clarion Community Learning Workshop.

Planning for the campaign started in the summer, and most of what had to be done for preparations was getting people on board.

“I don’t think I could have done this in any other town,” Gloeckl said.

Gloeckl said that everyone who she talked to was immediately on board, and this helped with getting her feet on the ground. Those she talked to told Gloeckl “Poetry Matters” would be good for the community.

The rest of the preparations included deciding what events they wanted to do and who they wanted to work with.

Downes and Gloeckl knew they wanted to work with the Clarion Free Library and the Clarion Community Learning Workshop.

Gloeckl said there are clubs on campus that have gotten involved. Tobeco is the major sponsor for “Poetry Matters,” but Alpha Phi Omega, Clarion University’s service fraternity, also got involved.

“People should get involved in this because poetry is such a connecting medium,” Gloeckl said. “Anyone can write poetry and share poetry.”

Gloeckl believes that poetry makes people want to share, and in turn, get others involved.

At the end of “Poetry Matters,” there will be a “Poetry Out Loud” open mic night where everyone can get involved and share their writing. The open mic will take place at Michelle’s Café on Main Street on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.

For more information on helping with the Halloween Haiku party or finding out more about upcoming “Poetry Matters” events, contact Gloeckl at H.L.Gloeckl@eagle.clarion.edu.

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