The words of poets Charles Baudelaire and Pablo Neruda took over people’s hearts at the International Poetry Night reading that took place on May 10, 2018.
College students and faculty nestled together in the frigid night and prepared to read poetry from all over the world. Students read poems in English, German, Portuguese, French, Chinese and Spanish. This event that has become its own tradition at COC takes place each semester at College of the Canyons. To the surprise of the event’s facilitators, the number of audience members that attended has grown, with more than 100 members in a single room.
Professor and head of the Modern Languages department Claudia Acosta explains that the culture of poetry appreciation has grown over the years. Acosta explains how important is to incorporated art into her lectures.
What had begun as a simple extracurricular activity for her Spanish class had become its own thing, supported and advertised by professors of other languages.
Although some of these young students had a fear of speaking, the fear was encountered with empathy and appreciation. The tradition was a way of sharing profound and personal feelings.
Professor Pierre Etienne, who teaches French and Humanities, explained how important poetry and literary works are for student learning development. Etienne says that the poetry culture has also expanded and grown within the English department and as of now, they are hosting their 9th Poets and Writers competition.
These competitions encourage all students on campus to submit original work. Etienne says that the number of submissions have grown and that the competition has become his favorite thing to coordinate each year.
As for the Modern Language department, they have announced the consolidation of a club for poetry exclusively. Faculty and students hope that other departments get involved and the tradition continue on campus.