Wartburg’s V-Day campaign and S.M.A.R.T. held their first open-mic poetry reading on Nov. 9. The reading featured works of poetry by famous poets such as Sylvia Plath and even included original work done by Wartburg students.
Both organizations wanted to create an environment where they could promote women’s issues in an approachable way.
“A lot of things we talk about can be scary to some people, so we wanted to do in a way people a lot of different people could come and talk about things that are important to them through an art form they love and appreciate,” Maddie Simmons said.
Simmons, president of S.M.A.R.T., and Emma Evans-Peck, Vagina Monologues Co-director, worked closely to make this event a success.
“I had heard a lot of people were coming but things come up with classes and everything but I was really impressed that all these people came and so many people read,” Evans-Peck said.
Evans-Peck came up with the idea to have a poetry night while reading a poetry piece by Maya Angelou.
“It just really stood out to me as something that really embodied a lot of what we’re striving for with V-Day, which is a women’s issue organization,” Evans-Peck said.
Both men and women were encouraged to come to the event either to read poetry or simply to listen to their peers read.
Jed Crowe was one of the students who attended the event to listen to the reading. Crowe said he wanted to experience something he had never done before, and attending a poetry reading fit the bill.
“I feel I would definitely come help out with other V-Day or S.M.A.R.T. events and maybe even next time read some poetry myself,” Crowe said.
V-Day campaign’s main event is the Vagina Monologues and will take place sometime in February. The team, however, is not waiting to start on auditions for the monologues. Auditions will be Nov. 13 and 14.
The Vagina Monologues can only be performed by those who identify as female, but there are positions open to help during the production for those who identify as male, such as ushering or handing out tickets.
Evans-Peck said she foresees V-Day and S.M.A.R.T. working on more projects and events together.
“A lot of our values and our mission align with each other and both of our organizations are small on campus and we would like to broaden our scope,” Evans-Peck said.
Since the reading was such a success, both Evans-Peck and Simmons hope to hold another poetry reading in the future.
“Poetry is really amazing. It’s a just a great way to connect and even sometimes relax,” Evans-Peck said.