Kate Stoltzfus, a junior, and Hayley Brooks, a sophomore, hope to bring “slam” to the ears of Goshen College students.Stoltzfus and Brooks are the co-founders of Goshen’s first Open Mic Night, which debuts Sept. 30. The Open Mic Nights will be a regular event falling on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. Though the first reading will welcome any kind of poetry, Stoltzfus and Brooks hope future readings will feature mainly slam poetry.
Slam poetry, according to Stoltzfus, is its own unique genre of poetry. “It is more performance oriented,” said Stoltzfus. “[Slam poetry] doesn’t have to work on paper—it is created to be read aloud and audience involvement is what makes it special.”
The women first started tossing around the idea of a slam poetry night last year, but it wasn’t until this summer that the idea began really taking shape. Stoltzfus gives most of the credit to Brooks, who she refers to as a “slam fanatic.” Stoltzfus was living in Boston over the summer when she first started attending weekly Poetry Slams. Brooks and Stoltzfus will be in overseeing positions. They plan on announcing and providing snacks.
Goshen College already offers open mic nights on campus, but this is meant to be its own entity, separate from academics. Stoltzfus wants to create “a space where people feel comfortable to express themselves in a different way.”
Stoltzfus hopes to create a casual comfortable atmosphere. She thinks the Open Mic Night is important for Goshen as it will “open people up in a way other writing doesn’t” and allow students to “connect on a very deep level.”
The first reading will be at 9 p.m. in Newcomer 19.