Poetry @ Georgia Tech

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On Thursday night, February 6th, I attended my ninth Poetry at Tech event. This event was one of my favorites, and it definitely stands out from the others. I have been to several Poetry at Tech events because I have been enrolled in numerous poetry/ creative writing class while being a Tech student. I thoroughly enjoy listening to poetry because poets are remarkable in the way they manipulate words, and Rupert Fike, Bruce McEver, and Sandra Meek are not exceptions to this art. This poetry event stands out to me not because it is most fresh in my mind, but because I found myself not calculating my grocery list in my head. Magically, I paid attention the entire hour and few minutes, and the poets had a clenched fist around my concentration.

            Rupert Fike started the night with crackling laughter from the audience. ‘Congealed Bacon Grease’ was his introductory poem, and it instantly warmed the southern audience. Fike’s initial poems reminisced about his childhood in the south, and he talked about his unique Jewish childhood, unique because there aren’t many Jewish families in the south. This steady theme throughout many of his poems had me recognizing the fact that growing up in a city where you cannot identify with the religion of others must impact your perspective on friends, family, and education. Regardless, Fike was a character and he truly started off the night with a solid and exciting bang. Next up to bat was Bruce McEver.

            It has been a few days since the poetry reading occurred, and initially I thought Bruce McEver was a not so stimulating poet, and now for the life of me, I cannot thoroughly recall his reading. His poem such as ‘Celebrating the Moon Festival at the Financer’s Club’ received light laughter from the audience, and I was not immune to the humor; however, his lovely language of Georgia pines, and his kind-hearted voice had me drawing pictures in my notebook- I found him to be a bit overcast! I appreciated his poetry; I really enjoyed ‘On the Glacier’, for his depiction of New Zealand was really beautiful. One can tell McEver has a strong adoration for his poetry; his poems are a way his life experiences are immortal. Nevertheless, I found the other poets who read on that night to be more captivating and interesting. Sandra Meek may have been my favorite poet of the night.

            Sandra Meek was the final poet of the night, and her poetry, although melancholy during many moments, definitely had my full attention, and throughout her reading I consistently thought, how has this woman’s life experiences not broken her down? And perhaps they have/had, but her poems exuded her down-to-earth and warm qualities. Meek’s poems spoke of her mother’s ailment and Meek’s membership in the Peace Corps. ‘Skeleton Coast’ was a poem that took place in Namibia, and I wondered why she had never returned to this place permanently, which in my opinion may have been the place where she was most content with life. Regardless, because my own grandfather died of cancer only a few short months ago, and Meek discussed her mother’s cancer in several of her poem’s, one being ‘Chemo Session Six’, I found her to be a relatable woman, and her emotions seemed real. They were honest and recognizable, and they were very genuine.

            Overall, February 6th was a very successful poetry reading at Georgia Tech. The poets were stimulating, humorous, light-hearted, and most importantly relatable. All three poets had moving poetry, and because of my attendance at the reading, I shall continue to read these poet’s works. 

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