English Department’s Coffeehouse Series presents Open Mic Night
This past Wednesday night, those passing by the piano lounge were treated to more than the idle sounds of a half dozen conversations and the aroma of warm coffee from Diversions.
Those passersby were treated to song, poetry and more, as the first Open Mic Night of the semester made its debut to an impressive turnout, thanks in no small part to the sterling efforts of the English Department.
Having started out a number of years back and reappearing in some incarnation or another, Open Mic Night was brought back thanks to the English Department’s Coffeehouse Series.
“We like to get English majors, minors and any student interested in literature and writing together several times a year,” Visiting Assistant Professor Darcy Irvin said when asked about the nature of the event.
Hosted by Visiting Professor Allen Jones of the English Department, the event had an impressive turnout of students and faculty alike.
The event had a cast as varied as its audience, with students of differing classes and professors all standing up and each sharing something important to them with those gathered.
The voices shared upon the small stage differed, but each reading had an air of personal importance and feeling.
The event opened with a reading of the intro to The October Country, a collection of short stories written by Ray Bradbury. The student explained that this was what he always thought of when it came to October and also explained how it was important to him.
Up next came Tim Flock, a sophomore transfer student who presented to those gathered an original song titled “Paper Crane” accompanied by his own impressive saxophone playing.
Students like Flock present the unique perspective of those new to the Puget Sound community. If I were new to the community, I know I would appreciate events such as these.
“I really like the Open Mic Night experience here more because it’s more artistically oriented,” Flock said.
Events like Wednesday’s allow students of the University of Puget Sound the opportunity to express themselves artistically and allow them the chance to become more rooted within the campus life as a whole.
“I feel connected to the UPS community,” Flock said when asked about how he felt Wednesday night’s performance affected him.
It’s clear through experiences like Flock’s that events like these are open to any and all, just as the English Department intended them to be.
In addition to original songs and music numbers, Wednesday night’s stage was also home to a number of talented poets, each of them with powerful messages.
These poets shared with us themes ranging from the sting of betrayal, to the bittersweet memories of family, to the sometimes estranged relationships we can have with loved ones.
Audiences Wednesday night, along with hearing heartfelt poetry and original songs, were treated to the works of Assistant Professor Laura Krughoff, who presented onlookers with a haunting first-person narrative with an air of tension and unease throughout.
It’s clear this semester’s first Open Mic Night has accomplished nearly everything it set out to do by featuring so many diverse works from an equally diverse group of volunteers.
“It is a great way to see what works and to become part of a writing community,” Jones said.
While it’s sad to say that Open Mic Nights won’t be a weekly occurrence around campus, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and these rare events will be all the more memorable when they do crop up throughout the year.
Catch the next on-campus Open Mic Night hosted by Spoken Word and Poetry Club and KUPS on Oct. 24 at 6.30 p.m. in Diversions.