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National Poetry Month to be celebrated with blackout party

The Lamar University Writing Center and the Department of English and Modern Languages are celebrating National Poetry Month with a poetry blackout party.

The event will be Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the Writing Center located on the first floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. Pizza and light refreshments will be provided, but participants should bring their own Sharpie.

Jennifer Ravey, director of the Writing Center, said the blackout party is a fun and interactive way for students to celebrate National Poetry Month. Popularized by poet Austin Kleon, blackout poetry allows poets to take “found” copy and cross out all but the words they want to include in their poems.

“It's less daunting and seems to be more accessible for those who would never think of themselves as poets,” Ravey said. “All you need are the pages, a permanent marker, and a little imagination.” 

Ravey said poetry still plays a role in students’ everyday lives whether in textbooks or on their iPods.

“So many students walk around campus with earbuds, listening to music,” she said. “Why are we drawn to music? Often, it's more than the actual music or beat. We're drawn to songs that ‘get us’ – songs that articulate our experiences, and that's what poetry does. Poetry gives a name to what we feel and how we see our world.”