‘Winter Dreams’

A night of poetry and music

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Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Chin

Music ensemble plays at Winter Dreams event

Michael Agbabiaka, Staff Writer

Last Thursday, the UIS English Department welcomed local Springfield poets and musicians to share their talents with the campus

community. The event, titled Winter Dreams and co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, featured readings of original poetry as well as live music.

Several local poets shared their work, including members of the Springfield Poets and Writers (SPW), a local nonprofit literary organization. The night also featured readings from current and past UIS faculty, including Glenn Cassidy, Adam Clay, and emeritus faculty John Knoepfle.

Théa Chesley, chair of the board for SPW, was among those who shared her poetry.

“I think it’s really nice that UIS has been reaching out to the community,” Chesley said. “I think getting together with the university community has been really nice for us.”

Founded in 1993, SPW engages with the Springfield community regularly, including hosting a monthly poetry reading at Robbie’s Restaurant in downtown Springfield.

Chesley, a poet for 50 years and recipient of the 2008 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, expressed interest in greater involvement between SPW and faculty at UIS, such as classroom visits from practicing writers.

According to Gillian Bauer, an instructor of English at UIS, the event aimed to bring together different art communities in Springfield. To this end, the Blackwater String Ensemble provided live music to accompany the poetry.

Some students viewed the event as a welcome change of pace on campus. One such student, UIS senior Patrick Simon, found that the event created a refreshing atmosphere.

“Events like the poetry reading really help bring culture and an outlet for expression to campus,” Simon said.

The event also raised funds to support UIS English graduate students. The funds will support student projects, as well as trips to local educational conferences.

Tiffany Chin
Winter Dreams attendees food and drinks