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ISSUE 118 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

Newly-formed poetry society hosts Ellingson extravaganza

By Stephanie Walker
Contributing Writer


Friday, October 15, 2004

"Welcome to the Poetry Extravaganza, and let me tell you, 'extravaganza' is no exaggeration." These were the words that opened the first meeting of the yet-to-be-named poetry society formed by Brett Defries `08 and Adam Lozeau `08. In the stuffy atmosphere of Ellingson lounge on Oct. 6, Defries welcomed a large group of excited poets and poets-to-be into what he termed a club for the people.

Donning a collared shirt, brown sweater and tie reminiscent of the characters from Dead Poets Society, Defries played a recording (on an antique record player) of Walt Whitman reading his work Poets To Come.

The society, sponsored by Assistant Professor of English Eliot Wilson, was formed to serve as a creative outlet for those hovering indefinitely on the English 257 waiting lists. Each week's meeting will have a theme, on which attendees will base prepared readings of either original or attributed poetry. Upcoming themes include St. Olaf, fall and ghosts.

Defies, Lozeau and other students read original works at the meeting; other readings included Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky, selections by e.e. cummings and lyrics from a Radiohead song.

When approached, Wilson enthusiastically agreed to sponsor the newly formed society. We just don't have the faculty to match the degree of student interest, but poetry doesn't require the sanction of any department or school. Poetry only needs poets, Wilson said.

Wilson has offered a full-size spinal column to the author of the society's name. Wilson refused to divulge the origin of the prize, citing the continuation of his teaching position as grounds for his silence.

The group, hoping to soon receive Student Organizations Committee recognition, has so far received such name suggestions as Scandinavian Rhapsody and Onomatopoets, but suggestions are still being accepted.

Those interested should contact defries@stolaf.edu.





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