Drinko trades cookies for mini poetry readings


Elayna Conard

A student chooses a poem out of a book to read in exchange for a cookie Monday in Drinko Library for its Poem in Your Pocket table to celebrate National Library Week and National Poetry Month.

Latia Garrett walked in Drinko Library Monday with one thing on her mind – to finish her senior capstone project. As she walked through the lobby, Garrett couldn’t help but notice the Poem in Your Pocket display.

The table filled with poetry books was in celebration of National Library Week and National Poetry Month. Library staff member Lindsey Harper asked Garrett when she walked through the library if she would like a cookie in exchange for reading a poem out loud. The poem could be selected from the display of books, but Garrett decided to read one of her own pieces.

The ease at which Garrett read her piece portrayed both her comfort and confidence in the written word.

“Some poems I write are coping mechanisms that help me deal with things going on in my life and others are just for fun,” Garrett said.

Electronic Services librarian Ron Titus said he hopes the Poem in Your Pocket display allows the Marshall University Community to appreciate poetry, reading and the fact that reading aloud can be fun. Titus said reading is a window into the lives of other people.

“It gives them [students] different places and windows that they never would be able to experience physically,” Titus said.

Students and faculty enjoyed a free cookie in exchange for their reading. The display was hosted by MUReads and the English department. Titus said it is the first time the organization has done Poem in Your Pocket but he hopes it gets people thinking about poetry and reading.

Other events for the week include a haiku presentation 12 p.m. Thursday in Drinko 402. Japanese Outreach Initiative coordinator with West Virginia Megan Homma will present her original haiku. Thursday evening from 6-7:30 p.m., light refreshments will be provided for a poetry reading in the Drinko third floor atrium.

“I’m hoping students understand that we aren’t just here for books but that we are also an information resource,” said library staff member Lindsey Harper. As more and more students head to the library with the semester coming to an end, look for activities such as National Library Week to break up studying and become involved in its events.

Elayna Conard can be contacted at [email protected].