"Both strong and both weak
Falling eyes, falling asleep
Dreams are hard at work."
This is just one of the many haiku that have been posted to the Facebook group for Poetics, a new organization on campus dedicated to inspiring and celebrating a spirit of diversity through poetry and the spoken word.
"Poetics is a poetry club that aims to bring all kinds of people from AU in one place," said Monica Sok, founder and president of Poetics. "To me, poetry is that universal language that really helps you see a person's life through their own eyes. It's the vehicle to learn how to empathize with other people."
The idea for Poetics came to Monica when she was studying abroad last year in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She had searched for open mic nights in the city but had no luck in finding any.
"I didn't really have the freedom of speech or an artistic outlet, although I'm sure there were places in Ho Chi Minh City that I just couldn't find," Monica said. "When I returned to AU, I wanted to make some noise. I wanted to create something that would really value the freedom of speech and let people appreciate the luxury Americans have."
Poetics will host a series of workshops and open mic nights throughout the year, both of which are designed to allow individuals to express themselves openly and honestly.
"With open mic nights, I'm hoping it brings the whole diversity of art and ideas. I really want people to share whatever's on their mind, whether it be poetry or rap, hip hop, or music," Monica said. "The writing workshops will be conducted in small, intimate groups that'll help build a warm sense of community, which will be very helpful to someone's creative side."
Monica draws her inspiration for the setup of Poetics' open mic nights and writing workshops from her poetry creative writing class. "I love that class because of the way my professor does his workshops," Monica said. "I'm hoping Poetics' intimate writing workshops will help people be more honest, learn about themselves, explore their own writings, to dare to image and create together."
Ultimately, Monica's vision for Poetics is for it to grow on its own at AU and then branch out to the greater DC community. "I would really love to connect with organizations like the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team, Split This Rock Foundation, and City at Peace," Monica said. "It would be awesome to have their participation or guidance for Poetics."
With over 150 members and countless poems already posted to the Facebook group, Poetics is definitely gaining momentum at AU. "Poetics going to be something great," Monica said. "I'm excited to see where it goes."
Poetics' first general meeting will be held at 8p.m. on Thursday, October 13 in the Battelle Atrium.