A Night of Poetry in Glassboro

On Thursday, November 29th, Rowan students gathered upstairs at the Barnes & Nobles on Rowan Boulevard for “Rhythm & Prose”, a poetry reading organized by Avant, Rowan’s student-run literary club, and Lyrical Alliance, a slam poetry club here on campus. The event featured readings from Avant’s self-titled literary magazine, even digging into the club’s vaults for poems written by students as far back as the early 1970’s. Lyrical Alliance provided their own flavor for the night, with poems that infused heavy rhythm with personal perspective.

Avant accepts submissions for its magazine throughout the year from matriculated students and according to their magazine, is “published biannually by the undergraduate students of Rowan University and exclusively features undergraduate work.” The club is overseen by Professor Ron Block, who at the event said, “I don’t do a lot. I don’t advice much. The students are highly organized and artistic.” It is encouraging to see students so deeply involved in producing something unique to our university. Issues of Avant can be found throughout campus and I highly recommend students to check out their fellow classmate’s work if they haven’t already.

Josh Howard, president of the Lyrical Alliance, said the event was “long overdue,” and recited his poetry with powerful confidence and passion, evoking a positive response from the crowd. Other highlights included readings from student Scott Seigel, who revved up the audience of about 40 people with a fictional performance piece about the town’s water supply being tainted with LSD and a reading of a poem from the 1972 issue of Avant by student Gabrielle Ostapovich about the grim realities of veterans returning from Vietnam.

Rhythm and Prose was a truly entertaining experience and a great chance to see what Rowan students have to offer in terms of artistic expression. The vibrant diversity of student experience here in Glassboro reflected wonderfully in the readings and I hope to enjoy more events of this type.

Avant meetings are held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in The Publication Suite, room 220, of the Student Center. Submissions can be sent to avantzine@gmail.com. 


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