Rose State celebrates 20 years of poetry readings

For a meter dash where the only running is that of the mouth, head to Rose State College for the 20th annual “Poetry at Rose” reading.

Scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in the campus’s H.B. Atkinson Theatre, 6420 S.E. 15th in Midwest City, the event doubles as an anniversary celebration, with current and former Rose State faculty members on board to read original poetry.

According to Carl Sennhenn, member of the college’s humanities faculty and coordinator of its honors program, the yearly reading enjoys near-capacity crowds.

“We’ve had outstanding audiences and a devoted following, close to standing room only,” Sennhenn said. “It keeps poetry alive for a dedicated audience.”

Among the 14 readers, two are former state poet laureates: Sennhenn and Rose State adjunct professor Carol Hamilton. Students who have won the James Axley Creative Writing Award will read from their work, as well, and the college’s music department will perform.

“I think poetry has a future as long as people experience events that require celebrating, honoring, remembering,” Sennhenn said. “Oklahoma City is an example of the future of poetry, because there are so many local groups that meet, so many venues that feature open mic events. Academic poetry may not be, but poetry among the populace is alive and well.”

Attendees will receive a free collection of some of the poems presented. A reception will follow in the campus’ Student Center.

Admission is free and the reading’s open to the public. For more information, call 733-7380. “Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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