Posted on: February 3, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Nick Stulga, News Editor

Do you write poetry? Rap? Perform spoken word? Are you a musician? Organizers of the second annual MV Poetry Contest & Coffeehouse are looking for you.

The contest, which is a joint effort among the Moraine library, The Glacier, and the communications department, opened for submissions Feb. 1. Entries must be submitted by March 30. Any Moraine student can submit video footage of themselves reciting their own poetry.

The contest will culminate in a “virtual coffeehouse” on April 13 from 3-4:30 p.m.

The event will serve as an opportunity for students to showcase their creative talents, writing and then performing their own material. Students may also ask someone they know to perform their piece if they are uncomfortable doing so themselves.

Information literacy librarian Tish Hayes says one of her favorite parts of the event is seeing students giving life to their work.

“Journey” by Chase Haggard is one of the poems that resonated with students in the audience of last year’s MV Poetry Contest & Coffeehouse.

“One of the things I really love is to see the creative expression,” said Hayes. “It’s just a great way to bring together some really great student voices. This [contest] is just a really different energy, creative, fun, artsy.”

Organizers also are looking for musicians to showcase during the event. The coffeehouse will be organized into short “sets” of poets reading their work, with music featured between sets.

“The musicians are [there] to help create the overall vibe of a coffeehouse,” Hayes said.

Prizes for poetry will be awarded in three categories: Grand Prize and Runner Up, Best Performance, and the Student Choice Award (a new category for this year).

The Grand Prize will go to the best overall poem, Runner Up will go to the second-best. Best Performance will go to the poem that was delivered most effectively. And the winner of the Student Choice Award will be decided live via a poll during the event, giving students the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece.

“Last year it was really interesting what resonated with students,” Hayes said. “We have a student on the judging panel, but the panel is also made of faculty. We wanted to make sure students had a voice too.”

My advice is just to trust yourself. I think any kind of creativity requires listening to that inner voice.”

Tish Hayes, information literacy librarian

Each winner will receive a prize, donated by the Moraine Valley bookstore. According to Lisa Couch, communications and journalism professor, the judging panel will consist of three judges, one representing the library, one representing The Glacier, and one representing the communications department.

Last year’s contest was streamed via WebEx, but there were some technical issues. This year it will be held via Zoom instead. 

Hayes has some suggestions for people entering the contest: “I think really my advice is just to trust yourself. I think any kind of creativity requires listening to that inner voice. It’s important to not try to be someone else. Be who you are and let that authentic self come out.”

In its first year, the contest garnered 11 submissions. Hayes hopes there will be a few more student submissions this year.

“I hope this semester, things feel a little bit lighter and they have some more time and energy to put into creative endeavors,” Hayes said.

Entries for the contest can be submitted via this link. The deadline for submissions is March 30.

Musicians interested in having their work showcased should contact Lisa Couch at