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Poetry for Lunch Proves Appetizing

By Clement Eneh

Students and faculty gathered in Marcus White Hall for “Poetry for Lunch” to discuss the works of writer Audre Lorde last Wednesday, as sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies.

“Some words are open. Some words live in my throat. It made me personally think about how sometimes I have to elaborate what I’m trying to say… [E]very word that she’s expressing is kind of an open for you to interpret within yourself,” said Charity Chambers, a graduate student, during the poetry discussion.

The poem discussed, “Coal,” is from the 1976 book Coal, a collection of poems written by Lorde throughout the years.

“For me in this poem it makes me think of the patriarchy system, where everyone suffers, man or woman.” said Nicole LoPiore in response to “The Woman Thing” by Lorde.

Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer and civil rights activist. She made history when one of her very first poems, written while in high school, was published in Seventeen magazine. Lorde worked through her writing and activism, to battle the racist, sexist, classist and homophobic stereotypes of her time.

Darlene Jordan, club coordinator and co-founder, expressed a deep connection with Lorde’s poetry, and with the art form itself.

“Some people walk, some people go in their car and meditate, some people listen to music, some people read books. I do it just to step out of my world for a little bit.”

Jordan explained she was approached by the African Studies coordinator, Professor Evelyn Phillips, about starting a club just for poetry.

“I thought, okay! Why not ‘Poetry for Lunch’ then,” she said.

The relaxed, open-forum style meetings are welcome to both students and staff. Poems are chosen by the coordinator, read aloud and guests are encouraged to share their thoughts and interpretations.

“I liked poetry back when I was in high school. I haven’t done much reading of it since but this was nice.” said Debbie Peterson of the CCSU Accounts Payable Office.

“I recommend it,” said Sarah Anne Jones, also of the Accounts Payable Office. “I don’t know anything about poetry. It helps when I hear other people talk about it.”