Award-winning poets share work Sept. 23

L-R: Cristina Correa, Roger Reeves, Ladan Osman and Christina Pugh.

“Poetry is a major tool of understanding. Even when people feel like it’s above their head, they respond — it makes abstraction seem accessible,” says poet Cristina Correa.

Correa is among four poets who will speak at the UIC Poetry Festival, 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the East Terrace, Student Center East.

“This event is something new and unique and it’s a chance for students to learn something new about themselves,” said Correa, a grad student in Latin American and Latino studies.

The event features readings by award-winning poets, including Roger Reeves, assistant professor of English; Christina Pugh, associate professor of English; and Somali-American poet Ladan Osman.

Think you want to be a poet? Read poetry, especially older poems, Pugh said. “Contemporary poetry is great but don’t be limited to only that,” she said. “The more you can get out of yourself and into the literary tradition, the more interesting it is to explore your own ideas.”

Correa said she was inspired by poet Gwendolyn Brooks. “She is a local poet and I quickly fell in love with how she gave a respectful narrative to the stories of people who are often overlooked,” Correa said.

The process of writing a poem is different each time, she said.

“I like to think a lot about my audience,” Correa said. “I usually imagine speaking to my mom.”

Correa encourages students to practice their writing. “Continue writing — make the process something regular,” she said.  “Write every day and don’t be discouraged by any barrier.”

The poetry festival is this year’s first event in the Chancellor’s Lecture and Event Series.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email