Friday, Oct. 29 turned Newcomer 19 into an assembly of poetry lovers. From 10 p.m. to a little before midnight, Goshen College students gathered to recite poetry and listen to readings at the “Poetry Cafe.”

Student host Leah Moreno introduced the reciters.  One by one, over 15 students got up on stage and read their personal narrations or in some cases, the words of other artists. This creative event quickly turned into a memorable evening for many. Some presented sung poetry, intense life experiences and even narrations in other languages such as Spanish and Amharic.

Most poets were Goshen College students, but the event also featured guest poets from the community. One of these guests was Pam Blair, who sang her poem “I Want That Kind of Love,” and was assisted by a dancer who moved to the rhythm of the words and music. Another guest was Groshonda McDonald, who also belongs to a ministry called No Fear in Love, a ministry that works with poetic expressions to spread God’s word.

Another remarkable guest was Jimmer Prieto, a Colombian poet residing in Goshen who read a passionate poem that evoked the spirit of the American Indians. His poem was read in Spanish and with expressive body language that aided those who couldn’t understand the spoken words.

Jimmer said the event was “a great opportunity, a space that allows us to escape the materiality of our daily lives. These readers are to me diamonds hidden in stone. There’s great potential in all of them.”

Goshen student Maryn Munley said afterwards, “This isn’t what I expected; it’s much better.”

First, second and third place awards were determined by the audience who clapped to support those whom they wanted to win. Third place was awarded to Kate Stoltzfus, a first-year, second place to Kate Friesen, another first-year, and first place was awarded to James Green (’10).

“I thought this event was great,” said Green.  “It seems to me that there is a small bunch of people on campus that cares about these types of events and I really wish we had more poetry going on campus. But I’m glad that this happened and I really enjoyed it.”

Green also shared his favorite line of his winning poem, “Poets arise so you can look up in the skies.”