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Open Mic Night instills creative confidence

Students+will+perform+and+share+their+own+poetic+pieces+on+Thursday.+
Students will perform and share their own poetic pieces on Thursday.

Students will perform and share their own poetic pieces on Thursday.

Photo by Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Photo by Austin Anderson

Students will perform and share their own poetic pieces on Thursday.

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To find solace is to find relief. Live Poets Society offers that solace, on stage in front of a crowd.

“Open Mic Night” is an upcoming event being held Thursday, Sept. 29 from 7-9 p.m. Students, particularly poets, can release their creativity and vulnerability on the Humphrey Theatre stage, in front of an audience. Within the two hours the microphone is open to all who want to come and share, as well as a few planned members of LPS presenting.

Co-founded in January of 2015 by Marquette alum Symone Jackson and Ivana Osmanovic, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, Live Poets Society’s mission statement is, “to develop, share, perform, and compete original spoken word poetry.”

“The audience can expect to see passion and lots of it. They can expect to see people being completely raw and expressing themselves through spoken-word,” Osmanovic said.

Ben Zellmer, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and member of Live Poets Society,  joined the group at the beginning of his sophomore year.

“Writing poetry can be a vulnerable process sometimes, and it is difficult to find spaces on campus where I can tap into what may be on my heart at the moment and transform it into a poem,” Zellmer said. “LPS creates that space for me.”

Live Poets Society holds bi-monthly general body meetings, in which Marquette students can attend a writing workshop and compare poetry, while receiving constructive criticism.

Osmania encourages creativity fostered in the bi-monthly meetings.

“If our members choose to express something, whatever it may be, we provide the creative and expressive environment for them to express themselves,” Osmanovic said. “This is a standard to which we’ve held ourselves. We read work and offer constructive criticism.”

Live Poets Society holds events throughout the year such as Poetry Slams, a poetry competition between students and special guest speakers, including the prominent Neil Hilborn known for his poem “OCD.” There are also opportunities to perform at other universities’ events like UW-Milwaukee’s Lyrical Sanctuary.

While there are three Open Mic Nights, and two Competitive Slams this year, members are hard at work prepping for the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

“(CUPSI) is a poetry slam tournament for groups of students representing different colleges and universities to come together, to compete, and to share their work with each other,” Rachel Harmon, a junior in the College of Communication and executive board member of Live Poets Society, said.

Awarded Best New Student Organization in 2015 by Office of Student Development, Live Poets Society supports and teaches students how to embrace their vulnerability and writing skills in order to create something great.

“LPS is a catalyst,” Zellmer said. “It can jumpstart a student into the process of writing and it can support a student through the middle of the process, but the depth of poetry always remains in control by the person writing.”

While Live Poets Society sees the impact it made on individuals, they hope to affect all on campus.

“We’re doing big and tremendous things and I cannot wait to see the effect it has on this campus and the people who belong to Marquette,” Osmanovic said. “I really hope it brings people a sense of hope, a place to express themselves without judgement or hate.”

 

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