Sixth Annual Matchbook Poetry
Students, faculty and Springfield community members came together on April 14 to share poems that they had written for the sixth annual Matchbook Poetry event.
Throughout the month of April, anyone who wanted to participate in the event was encouraged to visit the Writing Center to pick up a line of poetry — each a different line from a different poem — that was enclosed in a matchbook, according to event coordinator and junior, Meaghan Summers.
Then, participants were encouraged to write their own poems, inspired by the line enclosed in the matchbook, Summers said.
The event originally was started by professor Jodi Rambo in order to raise awareness about National Poetry Month in April. The event planning has since been passed on to Summers.
“The concept [of the event] is that a poem can strike anywhere. That is why we use the matchbooks,” Summers said.
A new addition to the event this year is a coordination with Springfield Promise Neighborhood. Although the Springfield school students were not able to make the main Matchbook event, they had their own poetry event the following day, according to Summers.
At the event itself, those who wrote poems were invited to share what they had written in front of an audience of about 40 people who attended the event.
“My favorite part has been the sharing to see everyone else’s creative process,” Summers said. “I also think it’s cool to be able to see where others’ inspiration came from.”
Also at the event, participants were given an envelope with the original poem enclosed so that they could see the entire poem from which their original inspiration came, according to Summers.
Although not every person who picked up a matchbook wrote a poem, over 20 people total ended up sharing their work. Some participants just shared their own poem, while others read from the original piece as well.
While some participants at the event included the original line in their own poem, others simply used the line as inspiration. A few who participated admitted to abandoning the original line of poetry altogether.
The original poems ranged from classical poems, modern poems and cultural poems, and included titles such as “A Certain Kind of Eden” to “Catch a Little Rhyme” to “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
“The Matchbook Poetry event is such a welcoming atmosphere,” participant Libby Bauman, sophomore, said. “It’s great to be able to share my poem and listen to everyone else’s.”