Last Thursday night I attended a Poetry@Tech event. This is a poetry event held at Georgia Tech where three poets read some of their work over the course of an hour and a half. The event is held in the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, an interesting building, located on the edge of Georgia Tech’s campus. Over the course of my three years at Georgia Tech, I have been to many of these events. However, not until the readings last week did I truly take notice of the environment in which these readings are held. I’ll be honest, it’s not the most beautiful space, but its casual qualities make the Poetry events spontaneous and relaxed.
It’s no Broadway Theater, and for those who live in Georgia, it is nothing close to the Fox. As I am sitting here, typing away this piece, I cannot recall the wall colors of the Museum or the carpet texture, the pattern on the material of the seats, or the height of the small stage in front. This tells me it is nothing special or glamorous; certainly it isn’t memorable. Nevertheless, I can tell you about the poems read the evening of April 3rd, and I am sure the poets would agree when I say, this is probably the point of a poetry reading.
The seats were comfortable, at the least. I didn’t get up from my seat after the evening and rub my back trying to ease pain. I can recall that there are mini desks at each seat, and personally, I enjoy this, for it makes taking notes an easier task. I take notes in order to remember the topics of each poem, and I do this because it is a requirement for my Creative Writing course. In all sincerity, I detest the fact that I have to take notes, for I think it distracts me from the poems. However, surely the décor of the Museum doesn’t distract me, and this is also important to a poetry reading, I am sure.
How elegant would a Poetry@Tech event be if it were to be held at the Fox Theater? One special event where everyone dressed up, including the poets, and cocktails were served in white-gloved men dressed in tuxedoes. Perhaps I should suggest this to the committee…. However, I wonder if the poets would enjoy such a setting? Do poets prefer calm soothing settings? Or would they enjoy a night filled with elegance and sheen. What does a poet consider to be a distraction? I am sure this answer differs for every poet; however, it’s an interesting question to survey.