Students ate cookies and sipped on hot chocolate as they waited in the University Student Union Sunset Lounge for poets to perform at the Poet’s Lounge, Thursday.
As the event neared its opening, the audience was close to being a full house, but only three individuals signed up to speak. By the end of the night, about 30 people had performed pieces ranging from freestyle rap, original music to poems about gender identity.
“I’ve never really been to a poetry reading,” said Rita Arias, a fourth-year child development major. “I really like how [Associated Students Inc.] set it up with the chairs… you have the windows [and] you have this intimate cute little stage setup with the fireplace. I really like the atmosphere they created.”
The ASI hosted Poet’s Lounge was the first of the semester and will occur every third Thursday through November.
Austin Ring, a third-year mathematics major, performed at a Poet’s Lounge for his first time.
“So, being a math major a lot of what you do is just focused on rules, axioms, theorems, definitions, and you’re really constrained to what that means,” Ring said. “But with writing, I feel like —especially creative writing— you’re able to break out of those boundaries and those rules and those definitions. You can create rules however you want to and create a universe however you like.”
Ring first performed his poem titled “An Advocate of the Meek,” and told the audience to solve the riddle.
“The answer to the poem is actually just a creek, and so I just thought of how many things can I bring up that represent a creek that kind of makes it a riddle,” Ring said. “And the whole riddle thing comes from mathematics. I love riddles [and] I love thinking games… that’s why I kind of bring that element into my writing.”
In high school, Ring became inspired to write poetry to impress his former girlfriend, but his poetic inspiration now comes from Jesus Christ and medieval fantasy.
His second poem titled “King’s Stead” was about a king who was warned that a powerful dragon was coming to the kingdom. In the end, the king sacrifices his life to save the kingdom and its people.
“To me, that sacrifice was typified by [Jesus] Christ,” Ring said. “When I read the Bible and I see the sacrifice that Jesus did for us — he died on the cross for our sins. That’s the kind of King that I want to serve and that’s the kind of thing that I wrote about.”
Ring has not published any poems yet, but he does run the blog where he talks about topics related to himself, fantasy, and god.
“I like the way people express themselves in different forms,” Johana Ruelas Gomez, a fourth-year Chicano and Latino studies major with a minor in Spanish, said.
With about three minutes till 10 p.m., students with big smiles on their faces started to clap, cheer and dance along to the beat of a song to close out the night.
The next Poet’s Lounge will be Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in the USU Sunset Lounge.