Sitting for a Stanza with Poetry Circle

This week’s Profile looks at the one of the unsung (and unfunded) groups on campus: Poetry Circle. Entirely student run, this group discusses published poetry, shares their own work, and receives an optional prompt that will serve as the theme for the following week’s meeting. I sat down with Danielle Ofeldt ’18, the leader of Poetry Circle, to discuss the group’s impact on our campus and community.

What is Poetry Circle?

Poetry circle is a casual group to make new poetic friends. We talk about poems that have been published, and we read our own poems to get constructive criticism from friends/fellow poets.

What are your goals for this group?

Definitely to break the idea that poetry is only for the literary elite. I think that oftentimes people associate poetry with stuffiness or overcomplexity when in reality its just the truest form of expressing how you feel.

What is the benefit to not being a Senate-funded club with a moderator and all that?

Being underground gives us the freedom to devote our time to getting to know one another and working around funding. Our events are the literary underground, which really doesn’t require funding. It’s a lot less pressure.

Why do you like to host your meetings at Waldo’s?

In the past, we used to meet in the Green Room [in Brua Hall] which sometimes could be very crowded due to theater activity. A lot of people don’t really know about Waldo’s, which is just a fantastic art space and has now become a regular hangout for poetry circle members when we’re not having meetings. Also they have great music taste.

How do you see this group benefitting campus at large?

Poetry circle is a great way for people to meet an eclectic crowd that shares your interests. And it’s a fantastic way to express yourself in a new medium in front of new friends. I also think it’s a great opportunity to foster unknown talent. A lot of our members are not English majors or don’t write for any publication on campus, so this is a low-pressure way to help them foster their craft.

If you are interested in attending meetings, Poetry Circle meets on Wednesdays at 9pm at Waldo’s.