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Poets offer personal perspectives

“To do this again after 10 years was pretty nerve wracking, but it’s also really exciting,” said associate professor in communication, Beth Ribarsky. Ribarsky was one of the featured poets at the Personal Perspectives in Poetry night.  She had a collection of both her and other poets’ work.  The last time she had performed some of poems in her collection was in college, when she was on the speech team.

The Founders Residence Hall resident assistants hosted the Personal Perspectives in Poetry night.

Rosia Partida, a freshman psychology major, said that Ribarsky was her favorite poet of the night. “I could really relate to her poem.”

Partida performed several poems as well. She performed two poems at the beginning of the night, and later on she performed another. One of the poems that she performed was entitled “Time.”

Partida is an active poet on campus. She has performed at many of the “open mic” nights that the school has offered.

Throughout the entire event, there were approximately seven poets; this included two featured poets. One featured poet was UIS alumnus, David Preston-McCracken. He arranged his poetry collections into two groups. The first group was more of his dejected poetry and then he lightened up the mood and read a collection of love poems.

Preston-McCraken said that his favorite poem that he performed was “Gray Like Me.” According to Preston-McCracken, this poem is a really personal piece that talks about finding his identity. A lot of his poems were self-reflective and helped get a lot of his “angst and aggression” out of his system. He also expressed that he was pleased to hear the poetry from the other poets.

The floor was open to anyone to perform some of his or her work. “We were trying to reach out to the [Springfield] community,” said Celia Figueroa. Figueroa is a Resident assistant in Founders resident hall and she is a junior, clinical lab science major.

The overall themes of the poems were personal stories that everyone could relate to. Because the stories were relatable, it made the atmosphere a lot more intimate. The setup of the room also made it more intimate. In the front there was a microphone and a chair. Only a few of the poets chose to use the chair. The majority of poets stood and gave a full presentation.

According to Figueroa, the event was a complete success. She said that she loves when people, especially students, come out to share their thoughts and express how they feel emotionally.

“It’s just really awesome for people to open up,” Figueroa added.

The final performance of the night was from Partida. She read her third and final poem and the crowd was pleased.

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