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The Emotive “100 Thousand Poets for Change” Reading Event

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

On September 25 2021, I attended Agnes Scott’s annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change event. The event urges poets, musicians, and artists from all over the world to come together and share their work as a “celebration to promate peace, sustainability and justice, and to call for serious social, environmental and political change.” People had the opportunity to participate in the event as a reader, so they would read a poem of their choice: original or not. This actually was not my first time coming to this event, as I participated last year as a reader of my original poetry, and I did the same this year as well.

Honestly, it was pretty nerve racking at first coming to this event. The thought of sharing my poetry with others is a horrifying thing, but I wanted to get myself out of my comfort zone and read out loud to multiple people. When I read my poem, the nerves definitely did not disappear;  I even stumbled over one part; however, the atmosphere at the event was so loving and accepting that I didn’t stress too much about it. The event really felt like a safe space for me as I was with other poets who use their art to share their feelings. Seeing everyone else be so vulnerable with their writing made me feel so comfortable.

Last year, I was absolutely entranced by the people who read, and those feelings remained this year as well. This year, I went to the opening session for the event, and just hearing about the cause of 100 Thousand Poets for Change put me in awe. It really struck me that so many people from many different backgrounds were coming together through poetry for the same cause. It made me emotional hearing the poems. Regardless of people reading original poetry or works by other poets, it was lovely seeing people perform these pieces and noticing the inflection of certain words in order to carry the message of the poem to us through Zoom.

There were a multitude of readings from the event that really mesmerized me. Muddasir Ramzan’s poem really struck me, and I loved how Dr. Khwaja mentioned that him being from Kashmir influences his poems a lot, because I could definitely see that when his poems were being read. Rupert Fike talked about how transcendentalism themes influence his poetry. Varsha Thebo’s first poem that was read was very beautiful. I loved how the poems that were read in a different language were not translated. Of course, the poems that were dedicated to the campus’s dearly departed Professor Moon broke my heart and made me extremely emotional. It was beautiful seeing people come together and using poetry to communicate their love and admiration for her. I really enjoyed my time at the event and I will certainly be there next year.

Taylor Johnson

Agnes Scott '24

Hello! My name is Taylor. I am a sophomore at Agnes Scott College. I plan on majoring in English Creative Writing and minoring in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. In my free time, I love to read and write. I also enjoy meditating and I'm currently learning how to do oracle and tarot card readings. If you ever see me around, I'm probably taking a walk and filming my day.
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