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Poetry series celebrates 25 years with overflowing crowd

Poet Jennifer Elise Foerster reads her poetry at the Anne Newman Sutton Poetry Series in the Kim. T. Adamson Alumni House on Feb. 4. The poetry series is celebrating its 25th year by inviting seven poets and authors to do readings on four nights throughout the semester. (Photo by Raffael Breu)

Westminster College’s Anne Newman Sutton Poetry Series began Spring 2019 with a “good crowd” on Monday. The event took place in the Kim Adamson Alumni House with readings from two published authors and drew more of a crowd than organizers were expecting.

Celebrating 25 years, organizers of the poetry series invited seven authors from in and out of state to read from their books over the course of four different nights throughout the semester.

Jennifer Elise Foerster, author of “Leaving Tulsa” and “Bright Raft in the Afterweather,” and Robin Becker, recipient of the Lambda Award for “All American Girl,” were the first to come to campus. Robin Becker is Westminster’s visiting poet for the Spring semester.

Robin Becker signs her book “The Black Bear Inside Me” for an attendee at the Anne Newman Sutton Poetry Series in the Kim. T. Adamson Alumni House on Feb. 4. Becker was one of two speakers at the first event of the poetry series and is the Westminster College’s visiting poet for the Spring Semester. (Photo by Raffael Breu)

Natasha Sajé, English professor at Westminster and director of the poetry weeks series, said the event was so well attended, that she had to ask the audience to squeeze together to fit everyone.

William Hughes, a creative writing student, said that he was not surprised by the high attendance of the event with two highly published authors as guests and said he sympathized with the organizers.

“It is hard to fit so many people in such a small place because you don’t expect [the poetry series] to have such a turnout,” William Hughes said.

Author Robin Becker also commented on the size of the crowd. Becker gave the credit not only to her and Jennifer Elise Foerster’s writing but also her miniature poodle Rio.

“I have a dog and every morning I take my dog to a park, so I have gotten to know all the people who walk their dogs at the same time and all those people came and I have only known them for three weeks,” Becker said.

The next event in the Poetry Series will be on Friday, April 26. At the event, Westminster’s Literary magazine ellipsis for 2019 will be debuted and Adam Tavel, winner of the 2017 Richard Wilbur book Award, will read from his latest book.


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Raffa is a junior communication major. He likes to slide down mountains dressed in spandex with two blanks strapped to his feet and call it alpine ski racing.

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