Simpson Poet’s Society offers outlet for expression

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by Beth Schaefer, Special to The Simpsonian [email protected]

Simpson College is getting a new poetry club on campus aimed at promoting creativity and engagement on and off campus.

Junior Kylee Hereid is creating the Simpson Poet’s Society, a poetry group for students to write and perform their own poems, as well as listen to established poets.

Leaders are registering the poetry club with Simpson and will begin reaching out to those who have shown interest. When the club is completely registered, Hereid and faculty adviser David Wolf will start advertising around campus, relying mostly on word-of-mouth or posters.

“We had eight guys out of the 28 people who signed up which, for a poetry club, is a little impressive,” Hereid said.

During her time at Simpson, Hereid has gotten more familiar with spoken word poetry. Through her classes she discovered more people who share her interests, which inspired her to create a group for students to get together and share their interests.

“I realized there are a lot more people who like listening to, performing and writing poetry,” Hereid said. “I thought it would be a good thing to start on campus for the people who are interested to come together and do what they’re interested in as a group.”

By creating the club, Hereid hopes to encourage people’s love of poetry and remind them to take a break from hectic schedules to do something they’re passionate about.

“In college, it’s really easy to forget about your passions and your hobbies because you’re so worried about homework and work and everything that’s being thrown at you,” Hereid said. “It’s easy to forget to relax and do something you enjoy.”

While the group will mainly focus on spoken word, it will be open to all types of poetry. Members who specialize in verse may still come and get critique, but the group will mostly help those who wish to perform.

Hereid plans on hosting two meetings a month. One meeting will focus on helping members improve their poetry by allowing them to perform or share their piece and receive feedback. The other meeting will be to watch established poets perform.

On top of watching other poets perform, the group will help people build relationships in the slam community and step outside of their box. Hereid said she wants to show poetry does not have to be a hobby only for college, but rather one students can do after graduation as well.

Hereid plans on taking the group to attend several slams in Des Moines and occasionally bring performers to campus. One performance she is arranging is bringing Simpson alumnus Steven Mildenstein back to campus.

“Steven is a great poet and he travels with an Omaha team doing competitions,” Hereid said. “I think it’d be great to bring him and maybe his team to campus because it will show our members this is something you can do after college.”

For those interested in joining the Simpson Poet’s Society, e-mail Kylee Hereid at [email protected]