True to type


With a solitary microphone in one corner, the Smart Museum’s lobby transformed into an open-mike coffeehouse last Thursday evening to host the release party and poetry reading for the spring issue of 1000 Typewriters, the biannual magazine of the Society for Undergraduate Poetry. Between 5 and 5:45 p.m., poets, fans, and friends gathered around tables, munching on cookies and brie and flipping through copies of Typewriters, established in 2004, before the reading began. Eleven of the 22 poets featured in the issue presented published and unpublished work, and editor Tara Maguire, ’07, acted as emcee, also reading two of her own poems, “After Buddhism” and “Easter.”

After joking with friends about performing an interpretive dance communicating the themes of her poetry, fourth-year Sheera Talpaz offered four poems; one, called “Goodbye Chicago,” reflected on her time at the College, “contemplating the last four years of contemplation.” Chris Cole, ’08, read five short poems, two scrawled on a yellow legal pad, concluding with his piece from Typewriters, “B-29” (“as in the airplane and the button on the vending machine,” he explained): “that ravenous beast…facing a row of vending machines, / tied down by the / plethora of choices available / to humanity.” First-year Sadie Lynn used a creamy metaphor to depict the poet’s fragile relationship with her craft: “I want my words to flow / like butter / …but the room is cold and the butter congeals / …a thick, gristly muck of words.”

Not all the poets appeared confident in their readings. “I like to mumble, and mikes keep me from doing that,” said Max Price, ’09, before clearly enunciating his magazine piece, “St. G’s Cigarette Under a Bridge.” Evan Cudworth, ’09, admitted nervousness but then smoothly read four original poems; the first, titled “Scenes from Suburban Life in Four Acts,” was inspired by Court Theatre’s recent production of Uncle Vanya.

Ruthie Kott

Photos: Friends gather before the poetry reading; Aaron Goggans, '10, reads his poem from the magazine.

April 30, 2007