First Poetry Flex a Relaxing Success

Photo+by+Dan+Maurer%2C+Leslie+Lozada+reading+Robert+Frosts+The+Road+not+Taken%0A%0A

Photo by Dan Maurer, Leslie Lozada reading Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken”

Dan Maurer, Writer

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, the Student Media Board’s own Events Director, Anthony Gunderson hosted the first Poetry Flex in the Pedroso Center. The purpose of the event was to “give a platform to other students to maybe express their own original works or a poem that resonated within them that was created by somebody else,” Anthony told us. It was a low-key, relaxing time, with free snacks and sparkling beverages provided. Low lighting, soft music, and Anthony’s smooth voice gave the event a chill and friendly mood. A relatively small audience showed up to participate and to listen as their peers recited poetry and prose, both their own original work or reading from work already published. Poems recited brought laughter and strong feelings. The students’ works presented were insightful, lighthearted, and powerful. Each original reading left us marveling at the creativity of our peers and feeling a little bit more connected to each other, and presentations of other works, such as by Robert Frost and Shel Silverstein, brought back memories of childhood and spoke to us as classics always have. Anthony hopes to host another Poetry Flex in the future, and that these events can gain momentum with more participation and attendance going forward.

The Pedroso Center itself is a beautiful place, located in Building B. It is a friendly place for all students to come and study. It’s equipped with a kitchen and refrigerator for students to use. Student organizations are welcome to host events there, and lectures and heritage month events, as well as film screenings, are frequently held as well. This is also where you will find the offices of the Student Leadership Development for those who would like to get involved on campus. Its purpose is also to provide a safe space for students and the Multicultural Center provides educational materials, resources, and events highlighting and celebrating the diverse communities that make up the students at NEIU.