By Ty-Eshia Johnson
Retired English Professor Carol Coffee Reposa, twice-nominated for Texas and San Antonio poet laureate, read poetry about time in Mexico, South America, Russia and parts of Western Europe March 26 in the writing center’s Home Grown Reading Series.
This college’s writing center and Voices de la Luna, a quarterly poetry and arts magazine, celebrated the Lamar University Press release of Reposa’s fourth poetry book “Underground Musicians” in the library of Moody Learning Center.
“It’s not easy to stage a reading like this with multiple performers and get everyone together at the same time, to get their schedules reconciled, to do the publicity, to get the word out on campus,” she said.
“I want people who read ‘Underground Musicians’ to come out of it with a feeling of being in love with life,” she said. “I hope that when they read this, they will exit the reading experience with a sense of how amazing life is, how barricaded … how rich it is … how endlessly filled just with music.”
“I strive for some kind of balance,” Reposa said before reading one from each of the four sections in the book.
Reposa said she never knows what her next poem is going is to be. The process of gathering ideas for poetry feels similar to itching as a result of an insect bite.
“Think of it this way: Like when a bug bites you and you don’t even realize when you’re scratching it but you are because it itches … and then it quits itching and it starts itching again and you scratch it,” she said.
The reading opened with former student Elisa Nodine, English sophomore Paul Byers and Dexter Gilford, criminal justice adjunct, reading two of their original selections of poetry.
“It was nerve-racking,” Nodine said. “I kind of lost that really shaky and nervous feeling like you’re going to throw up kind of anxiety when you get in front of people.” Nodine said studying at this college helped develop her writing talent. She enjoyed reading her work without fear.
Byers said, “I was a little nervous only because it was my first time ever presenting my work to people, but I felt quite comfortable.”
Gilford said he enjoyed it immensely. “You’re always a little anxious beforehand, but at the same time I’m getting comfortable with the idea of sharing my work with people,” he said.
Gerardo Robledo, writing center coordinator and part-time poetry submissions manager for Voices de la Luna, hopes there are more reading series at this college.
“We’ve had some amazing writers, amazing professors and amazing staff,” he said. “So I decided why not show who those people are.”
For more information, call the writing center 210-486-1433.