• Special to the Leader & Times
Original poetry and live music are on tap for the second annual Poetry Coffee House set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.
The event will feature SCCC/ATS students reading their original poetry, live acoustic guitar and readings by the winners of an area-wide high school poetry contest.
Hot coffee and tea, an assortment of flavored iced coffees and snacks will be served along with the poetry and music. Handmade ceramic coffee/tea mugs will be for sale by SCCC/ATS ceramics students, and student artwork will be on view during the evening, too.
Featured SCCC/ATS student poets include Chris Bobeda, Gwen Friesen, Samantha Gillespie, Dana Loewen, Alexander Olinger, Jose Rodriguez and Caitlin Workman. Poems by these students appeared in last year’s Telolith or are slated for publication in the upcoming issue. Original acoustic guitar music and vocals will be provided by Bobeda.
This is the first year for the high school poetry contest to be presented in conjunction with the Coffee House, and winners will be announced that evening.
“We were pleased with the response to the contest,” said Janice Northerns, SCCC/ATS English instructor. “We received 30 entries from Liberal and the surrounding area, including Dodge City, Hugoton, Beaver, Okla., and Turpin, Okla.”
“We hope the community will turn out to support these high school and college-age poets, as well as to enjoy a fun evening,” she added.
Northerns will also be reading at the Coffee House, along with fellow SCCC/ATS English instructor Bill McGlothing.
McGlothing teaches creative writing at SCCC/ATS and is co-sponsor of the school’s award-winning creative writing/art journal, the Telolith. While listening to poetry may not be everyone’s idea of entertainment, McGlothing hopes people will give it a chance.
“Reading poetry is good. Reading poetry aloud is even better. But to listen to a poem read by the one who wrote it is to experience a poem completely,” McGlothing said. “A poem is meant to be heard. Sound and sense combine to bring the poem to life.”
McGlothing and Northerns are both published poets and have read their poems at numerous conferences and events.
Northerns’ poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals including Concho River Review, Riversedge, Southwestern American Literature, The Cape Rock, College English, Borderlands Texas Poetry Review and Coal City Review.
She has read her poetry at the MLA Pop Culture Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.; the Conference of College Teachers of English in San Angelo and Waco, Texas; the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers meeting in Beaumont, Texas; the Fort Concho Literary Festival in San Angelo, Texas; and the WTAMU Summer Writing Program at West Texas A & M University, Canyon, Texas, where she was a featured poet.
Her awards include the Robert S. Newton Creative Writing Award from Texas Tech University.
McGlothing’s poems have been published in New Oneota Review, Dismal River Review, Southwest: An Anthology, Blue Moon News, Blue Mesa Review, and his most recent publication, “The House of Twenty Dorothys” in The Midwest Quarterly.
He has given poetry readings in Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Bossier City, La.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.; as well as several local readings.
The Baker Arts Center in Liberal featured McGlothing’s work in 2006 in a dual visual exhibit/poetry reading illustrating the process of writing a poem.
Admission is free to the Poetry Coffee House, and it is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 in the music wing/band hall (Room H148) of the Shank Humanities Building at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, 1801 N. Kansas, in Liberal. For more information, contact Janice Northerns at 620-417-1456 or
, or Bill McGlothing at 620-417-1457 or