Poems, lyrics guide writing perspectives

BY Faith Fishburn/reporter

TR student Yorli Ceili Munoz attends the poetry workshop to learn how to improve her creative writing knowledge through comparing styles of writing. Brooke Baldwin/The Collegian

Instructional associates from TR Writing and Learning Center devoted its final workshop from their learning series to spark students’ interest in poetry March 3.

The poetry workshop originated from students’ general lack of interest in relating to poetry, a common theme that TR assistant manager Shawn Stewart said he noticed among students when asked whether or not they like poetry.

“I use a lot of music when I am presenting in my poetry workshop, which is cool because people can relate to it a lot more than something that was written 200 years ago,” Stewart said.

He encouraged the audience to share their favorite quotes from poetry. The students offered quotes from modern musicians like Frank Ocean, as well as a quote from French Renaissance painter Francois Boucher.

Stewart incorporated music into the workshop to help students open up to poetry and find personal relevance.

The three songs Stewart played were, “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette, “This is America” by Childish Gambino and “Icon” by Jaden Smith.

“He’s got some beautiful lyrics, and dang that dude can dance,” said Stewart, as he introduced Jaden Smith and went on to play Smith’s “Icon” music video. “Some really good rhymes in this one too.”

Stewart presented multiple forms of poetry ranging from conventionally written poetry to advertisements and music, which then turned into an opportunity for the audience to become involved in analyzing the poetry introduced.

Stewart asked the audience to share favorite quotes, write two-rhymed line poetry and give interpretations of the different poetry shown.

TR student Devin Jones has attended some of the other events in the series and said he finds them to be informative.

“I really like coming to the workshops to soak up the information like a sponge,” Jones said. “I think poetry is something that younger generations can really take an interest in because it’s a form of expressionism. It’s another platform to tell who you are.”

TR instructional associate Jennifer Solomon helped coordinate the final learning series. “All students, whether they realize it or not, have an author inside of them,” Solomon said.