Hi, my name is Kailyn, and I was in Poetry Club 2017-2018. I’m currently a senior double majoring in Film, TV, and Media Studies with a sub-major in Screenwriting and English with a sub-concentration in Creative Writing and double minoring in Writing and Program in the Environment. Non-academically, I am on the E-board for Delight Ministries and Project WriteOn (two really great clubs) and am the Master Carpenter for the theatre group MUSKET on campus!
Coming into college, the one thing I searched for, and was privileged enough to find so quickly, was a community in Mitchel and Domo’s Poetry Club. It supported me in my interests and created a social sphere upon which I could feel confident in a new place. I’d written before, and I always knew that writing my feelings down on paper helped me recognize what was going on in both my head and my heart, but my work had always stopped there. So, having had a background in writing poetry but little to none in performing, Club really pushed me to understand how to read a poem out loud to a room. In Club, we would read different poet’s work, build and work based off of different styles and types of poems, and watch performances. Listening to other members (especially Mitchel and Domo) read their own work also really inspired me. That sharing of creative liberty and use of tone, metaphor, voice, and structure really impacted how I learned to write my own. Also, when we would read to the club and someone would snap, that’s what I recall to be one of the most rewarding signs. Not only did something you say make sense out loud, but it resonated with someone in your audience. I loved that.
I remember our poetry performance that year and how I walked up more nervous than I’d ever been, and then apparently stood and read with all the confidence that Mitchel and Domo had instilled in me, then immediately returned to my seat, shaking like a leaf, with absolutely no memory of what just happened. Since then, I’ve only become more confident in reading. To be honest, sometimes I still black out a little. It’s not always easy to just decide to read out a piece of your heart in front of a group of strangers, but I when I did, and when I was conscious enough to hear the snapping or to see Mitchel and Domo’s proud parent faces, there was something so rewarding and fulfilling that just maybe I did myself justice--that I took a part of myself that was so buried inside of me, worked it out on paper, and said it out loud to tell the world that whatever that thing was, it no longer had the power over me to hide inside my lips. I think that’s the biggest thing I found of myself in Club, that we have power over ourselves, and poetry is a great way to claim that power.