SPOKE poetry gets students thinking

Whether they’re rushing to class or headed to the library, students never seem to take a moment for themselves. However, once every four weeks on Wednesday nights, they have the chance to express themselves through spoken word.
At The HUB, located on the second floor of the Student Center, there are always opportunities for students to express themselves. One opportunity in particular though, called SPOKE, allows students to participate in spoken word poetry. The first SPOKE event was held last Wednesday and featured slam poet, Corrina Bain. Bain has been writing poetry for about 17 years.
“I write every day. I free write, journal and write letters. Sometimes I have an idea for a poem and sit down and write it, or I go to a workshop with the aim of writing a poem. But there is definitely an element of it that is practice and grind and showing up every day,” said Bain.
The event began at 7 p.m. with a poem for the group to read aloud. After reading it over a few times, Bain asked the group to discuss which lines evoked emotion. From there, Bain transitioned into a workshop, showing the room of eager listeners that sometimes using sounds to help describe emotion is easier and more poetic.
“I think the nice thing about readings at schools is there is a built-in sense of community, and everyone is sharing the experience of being a student,” said Bain.
The opportunity to meet other students interested in spoken word is one that isn’t common in many places. In fact, The HUB plays an important role by creating emotional outlets for the Sonoma State University campus and allows students the opportunity to get involved on campus too.
“The goal of SPOKE is to take in a professional poet and not only let them share their own work, but share their knowledge of how to create a poem and their creative process,” said freshman and student assistant Carly Solberg.
Many students may be finding out about SPOKE now, but the events are not new to campus. In fact, the spoken word events have been going on for a few years.
“We are always working on making it better and there’s always something new we can work on, but our artists are getting bigger and better,” said Solberg. “We’re definitely going to work on bringing more people in this semester, so we really want to get the word out because this is such an amazing event, and it really truly is inspiring.”
Solberg also noted how comfortable the environment is in The HUB, another aspect of the event that helps promote sharing emotions. However, if slam poetry isn’t appealing but one is interested in getting involved, The HUB puts on plenty of other events.
“It’s one of the best ways to become more socially active, and a great way to try new things,” said junior Nicky Cisneros.
If one feels they need to express their opinion about a topic or just meet some new faces, there are other monthly events that go on as well.
“I’m in charge of Treats and Trending Topics, which is also a monthly event. I get to pick a trending topic of my choice, for example Black Lives Matter, and hold a discussion group on it,” said Solberg.
Treats and Trending Topics, which goes on every second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. in the HUB, is another chance for students to share their opinions and ideas on the occurrences of today. To find out more about events held at the HUB this semester, visit sonoma.edu/hub.