Students unite for poetry recital

poetry keysEach fall semester since 2011, international students in Modern Languages Professor Abra Figueroa’s class and American students in English Professor Carlotta Hill’s class have had a chance to share their love of poetry with one another.

The annual poetry event , held in the World Languages and Cultures Center, builds up the connection between American students and international students through poems, Hill said.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5. Not everyone will read in English.

“ … My [American] students listen to poetry from international students,” Hill said.

“… They really love the language of poetry and the rhythm even if they don’t understand the words. They are able to understand the feeling.”

Figueroa said each international student in her class is asked to prepare one poem from his or her native country and read it at the event in that country’s language.

“We don’t necessarily understand every word of the poem, but before they read they will tell us what the basic idea of the poem is,” she said.

“ … We just enjoy the music of the language.”

Figueroa said this year, she will read her poem in Spanish.

“The purpose of the event is just to appreciate different languages, for us to appreciate the richness of cultures and artistic richness of the languages,” she said. “We will not have any discussion about poems.”

Hill said the students enjoy the experience.

“ … [American students] are a little bit shy with international students,” she said. “They don’t know much about the different countries.

“They don’t know how to approach [the international students] or talk to them. By coming to the event, they understand that international students are just like they are and they try to get into the conversation.”

Figueroa said everyone interested in poetry and different cultures is welcome at the event.

Chiaki Troutman, World Languages and Cultures Center coordinator, said this is the fifth poetry event held in the lab, on the second floor of the Main Building.

“It is about learning different cultures through poetry,” she said. “The event usually creates a warm atmosphere.

“We have funding so we offer some refreshments — drinks and cookies for participants.”

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