Community Poetry Readings gearing up for third year

Release Date: September 3, 2009    


PLAINVIEW – Jordy Williams may have crossed the Wayland Baptist University stage in May, but he hasn’t completely given up a project he started while a student at the university.

              Williams is helping to reprise the Community Poetry Readings – or CPR – held monthly at the Broadway Brew, for the third year, with the first event planned for Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 8:30-11 p.m.

              Started as a venue for local creatives, the CPR event welcomes poetry as well as other short fiction or excerpts from longer fiction works. The event features an open microphone format and is open to the entire community.

              Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with honors in May 2009, and is now teaching English and Speech at Floydada High School. Though he’s not technically a student, he said he wanted to remain involved in the CPR since it was his brainchild and a true source of enjoyment. He also knows there are not many other similar venues in Plainview for creative writers to share their work in an organized format.

              “In a form, poetry is an always existing part of society and always has been historically. The readers allow insight and emotion into their life. It’s not about the person so much as the opening up of the work,” he said. “My passion from this derives from the fact that I’ve always had a kinship with people who enjoy poetry. I consider poetry a lifestyle, not a hobby even. No matter what walk of life I am doing, I want to keep doing this wherever I am.”

              Williams started CPR as a junior at WBU at Starbucks, and when that venue closed, he moved it to Broadway Brew, owned by one of his English professors, David Splawn and wife Stacey. There, he said, the event has enjoyed a steady following of folks from various backgrounds. But he knows there is room to grow.

              “We really want people to feel welcome, and regardless of what kind of writing style someone has, all types are welcome,” Williams said. “The variety is what I live on; we need that. It’s a community of different viewpoints that come together. Whether older or younger, if they have something to say, they should feel encouraged.

              Serving as the emcee for the CPR nights, Williams said the evening is broken into three rounds or stints, with creatives signing up to read in the number of rounds they wish. In each round, participants can read a poem or two or some short fiction, ideally about 5-7 minutes at the microphone.

              Out of respect for the honesty and emotion that comes in creative writing, Williams said the third round is where “anything goes” in material and is specifically held later in the evening when children are unlikely to be around.

              Dr. Ashley Faulkner, assistant professor of English at Wayland, is the official faculty liaison for CPR, and is also supportive of the event.

              “I feel the inclusion of all sections of the community of Plainview in readings is essential to its success and growth,” Faulkner said.

              CPR will be held monthly on Tuesday nights. Specific dates will be announced through local media. Those wanting to participate in the September event, needing more information or wanting to provide feedback may contact Williams by email at jordy_williams14@hotmail.com.