De Anza College students expose fear, desire through poetry

Trémaurice Johnson, Staff Reporter

De Anza’s poetry enthusiasts gathered for a festival of reading and writing workshops on May 22 titled “Fearless: Awakening Your Inner Voice,” an opportunity for students, primarily of marginalized communities, to speak their inner feelings and desires.

“The theme for this today is ‘fearless,’” said Mike Mcgee, poet laureate.

The festival began with a handful of poetry laureates leading the group of around 25 people in spoken word pieces of their own.

Topics of courage, resilience, passion and so forth were displayed from these poet laureates as a way to inspire the audience, which of whom consisted of Arlene Biala, Matt Sedillo and Venus Jones.

Thereafter, “Red Wheelbarrow” scholarship opportunities were announced, which allowed students a maximum of 5 poetry pieces submissions.

The audience then split into six groups and allotted prompts to work on, all of which revolved around fears the participants have felt in their lives, whether that be past, present or future.

After 20 minutes brainstorming, students were asked to volunteer to present their pieces. Many student pieces \ revolved around their struggles growing up in their communities.

Topics such as gentrification, poverty, drugs, gang violence, familial abuse and the 1 percent were present in nearly every piece of spoken word.

“After today, I think poetry has changed in my mind, because before poetry was just something I liked doing…after releasing what I really wanted to say, I feel like poetry is an expression for me now,” said Abrianna Rodriguez, 23, English major, as the ceremony concluded.