Poetry workshop to prepare students for annual conference

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society at UAA, will host a poetry workshop and slam poetry reading on Nov. 28 . The event is a safe space for writers to work on and share their ideas with other poets.

Photo credit: Jian Bautista

“Anyone who wants to come and either workshop or share their poetry is welcome,” Deb Castillo, English graduate student, said.

The hour-long workshop is designed to be split in half, with one half dedicated to work-shopping poetry and the other available for anyone who wishes to perform their work for the group. However, the event will also be flexible and cater to what the attendees wish to spend more time on.

Toby Widdicombe, an English professor, will be presenting work of his own at the slam to break the ice for students. An executive officer of Sigma Tau Delta will perform as well.

The workshop is aimed towards preparing students for the Pacific Rim Conference on English Studies coming up in the spring semester. The conference is an annual two-day event put on by English graduate students at UAA.

“The workshop is for any and all poetry that people want to workshop, but we are encouraging people to write and perform poetry for the conference,” Aspen Knight, an English graduate student and Sigma Tau Delta treasurer, said.

Knight hopes that the workshop helps students to feel confident in performing their work and possibly submitting it for the conference’s Call for Proposals.

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“I want people to not feel anxious or intimidated about submitting a proposal,” Knight said. “When I first submitted to Pac Rim… I was anxious and nervous and didn’t know what I was getting my foot into, but I loved it. It was an amazing experience, and I think that everyone, even if they don’t plan on going into academia, should experience it.”

Each conference follows a theme picked by the director. As this year’s director, Knight chose a theme of “Refraining Colonialism: Considering Languages, Cultures and Identities” for the 2019 event.

In past years, Pac Rim has been exclusively made up of English students. This year’s annual conference, however, is going to look different than the last 22. Along with English majors, other disciplines in the humanities will be able to submit proposals in the form of art, creative readings, paper, panel and poster presentations and round table discussions.

“The different areas really open the door to even more artistic perspectives from students,” Knight said. “It’s important to look at these tough topics in different ways rather than just presenting a research paper.”

The poetry slam and workshop will take place on Nov. 28 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Administration and Humanities Building. The event is free to all students and food will be provided.