Robin Glynn – General Assignment Reporter –
Students gathered in the English Common room on Oct. 23 for Open Mic Night, put on by the Bookmarks English Club, and share some of their favorite readings.
“This semester we have been scrapping up any information,” said Kristine Reilly, Vice President of the Bookmarks English Club. “It’s been a bit chaotic, but it’s October and we finally are getting on our feet and throwing an event.”
Reilly says since she and the new President, Malcolm Zawacki, just took over, they have been asking advice from the Club advisor, Cynthia Stretch, about what to do, but Stretch says that she has a hands-off approach.
According to Reilly, Open Mic Night, as well as the club, is open to all students. The club works to promote literacy, bonding between people with common interests, and involvement across the SCSU campus.
“You don’t necessarily have to be an English Major,” said Reilly.
Reilly says that the Bookmarks English Club is more than just a club and they do more than just open mic nights.
“The cool thing about English Club is that it’s not necessarily an English majors club,” said Reilly. “The president and myself are physics majors, so that’s kind of silly, but it’s not English book club meeting. We do English related things. We do English Jeopardy, we get an anonymous donation for Long Wharf Theatre so we see plays for free.”
“The club is in its third year,” said Stretch, who is also an English professor. “Students who started the club wanted to have a sense of community.”
Stretch says that the group also provided opportunities for leadership. Reilly said that when it comes to open mic night, participants can do what they want.
“It is basically for those who like English,“ said Reilly. “We do have people who are English majors. It’s fun.”
While students can do what they want, there are limited restrictions when it comes to the work they want to share.
“You are allowed to swear as long as it is not in excess,” said Reilly. “As long as you are not trying to be overly vulgar intentionally for the sake of being vulgar, anything really goes. Sometimes I think it is necessary.”
Reilly said open mic night is anything you want to read.
“If you want to read poetry, read poetry. If you want to sing, sing.”
The only limit that Reilly says that students get is three to five minutes at a time to perform, but they can go up as many times as the like (so others can have a chance to perform.)
“We are aiming for once a month or bimonthly,” said Reilly. “ It is kind of feeling it out because it is our first time running the club.”
While Reilly and Zawacki are transitioning into being president and vice president, they hope to have an open mic night once a month.
Students like Laura Salvatore, and art history major, enjoy reading their work to people.
“I did in high school a little bit,” said Salvatore. “I have done a poetry reading earlier this year, about a month ago.”
Salvatore, who writes her own poems, says she tries to write once a week. She likes hearing other people share their poetry.
“I love hearing other people’s styles,” said Salvatore, “and I always love finding new poets and buying books. I like poetry.”