Lighting the Way since1953  
Community Poetry Reading opens floor for expression

By Haley Cox/Editor

     The place is crowded. The smell of a frapacino wafts through the air as the murmur of latte machines and the growl of coffee grinders fill the silence.
      Jordy Williams steps up to the microphone. He speaks. Fingers snap.
      Jordy Williams, a Wayland junior, had the vision for a poetry reading for Plainview. With the help of fellow student Meredith Maddux, his dream became a reality.
      Wednesday night dozens of poetry writers, readers and listeners gathered at Starbucks again for the second Community Poetry Reading.
      The growing response to the event surprised Williams.
     “It’s going to much better than I thought it would,” he said. “I’m a little ashamed to say I underestimated Plainview.”
      Williams had attended other poetry slams, getting so involved he would come an hour early and stay an hour late. However, Plainview had no outlet for his passion, and he decided it was time to change that.
     “Jordy told me his idea to get everyone together,” sophomore Meredith Maddux said. “I thought it would be good.”
      Maddux helped Jordy organize his plan into reality. They held the first Community Poetry Reading in September. Starting at 7 p.m., the reading lasted well into the night and wound down around 10. This month’s reading followed with the same success.
      Wayland students aren’t the only ones who attend the function. Wayland professor of political science Dr. Geoff Wells came with his daughter Hannah, a senior at Plainview High. Both Hannah and Dr. Wells read their original work Wednesday night.
     “I’ve been writing poetry since high school, which was 40 years ago,” Dr. Wells said. “Poetry is every person’s means of expression of what they feel, and it can come in a variety of forms. I like poetryfor the immediacy of it and its intensity.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Joanna “Red” Jernigan has been reading poetry for about a month.
     “I (read a poem) as a favor for Jordy and Meredith — it’s contracted labor,” Jernigan said. “I’m so excited for them. Plainview needed this.”
Williams hopes to eventually turn the readings into a poetry slam — a competitive setting for the poetry where judges will be randomly selected from the audience.