Folio’s first Autumn open mic

Danielle Campbell Copy Editor

Over individually wrapped cookies and bottles of apple cider, Folio held its first open mic of the fall semester in the somewhat hidden English common room in Engleman hall. Students watched, both in person and virtually, as their peers from various majors and backgrounds shared their writing.

“So, this is basically like, the vibe. We share a lot. You could be a featured reader for like a future meeting if you want. Like where you’ll get to share like several pieces and like you get a little bio and introduction if you want,” said secondary English education major and Folio fiction editor Katie Doyle, a senior.

Folio, like all the clubs, was mostly digital in the past year due to COVID-19. This semester saw the re-turn of the in-person open mic, but a digital option was still included. Doyle said, “I think it went pretty well. I really loved like hearing what everyone had to say. We haven’t been able to do an open mic like this in person in a really long time. We only got to do one last year. So, it’s been like mostly WebEx, but I think like the hybrid format went pretty well.”

Some students were shy to share at first, but then came around once more people shared their work.

English major Harley Schein, a senior, said, “I mean, I may be going to school to be a librarian, but I’m a writer by passion, not by trade. And I actually, the poems are, I recently got a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, D.I.D, and I have been utilizing my poetry to discuss my alters, so people with D.I.D. have more positive representation.”

Schein went up and shared his poems about D.I.D. and his various personalities in an expressive performative art piece. Other students chose to share short poems they had tucked away on their phones or laptops. One student, nursing major, Sam Kaufman, a junior, had her piece printed out and ready to go.

“I tried to move but can’t seem to. My arm is frozen in the air from trying for an arrow. My tunic grows stiff as do my limbs,” Kaufman recited. “So, writing is just like a for fun thing. I really enjoy it,” said Kaufman. “Especially, it lets me be more creative than like a lot of like, cause I’m really interested in the sciences, but the sciences aren’t very creative. So, it can be a little stifling sometimes. So writ-ing is really fun.”

A few virtual participants also shared their writing. There was also a quick discussion on plans for future open mic nights including talks of costumes and Halloween-themed poems.

“I think there’s just some-thing really powerful about like hearing people’s work like when you’re right in front of them. Like seeing the way that people present their work,” said Doyle.

Schein has plans for his writing beyond sharing at the open mic nights. “Eventually my goal is to just you know hit the New York Times bestseller list and you know, maybe sell something to the CW, fingers crossed,” said Schein. “I want to give people proper queer representation and better representation for people of color. Especially since I’m, you know, a Jewish trans person. I feel like there is a lot of, not a very good representation for sexual fluidity or polyamory, and with my pros, that’s what I intend to do. I want to give the YA community something better, especially when it comes to sex.”

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