Students share poetry, prose and music at a GW open-mic night

A low-lit basement caf?, straight out of a beatnik novel – with more colorful attire and without the smoky air – set the scene for a gathering of GW poets and artists Friday at Riverside Towers Hall.

The Coffee House, which was co-sponsored by GW’s literary magazine, Wooden Teeth and the Substance Abuse Prevention Center, drew a crowd of more than 60 people with open-mic prose and tunes.

We like to plan these (coffee houses) around mid-terms and finals, let people come and chill out a bit, said Wooden Teeth editor Ariana Markoe.

Students said they enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of the evening.

You sit around, you read poetry, said sophomore Vani Murugesan, secretary of Wooden Teeth. It’s fun.

At the beginning of the event, Kathy Rooney, sophomore events chairman for the magazine, read a work with Art Editor Clark Harding. The poem, Pretention, was a satirical look at stereotypes associated with the art scene.

We want to know what this campus is thinking, and we want to up the art scene, Harding said about Wooden Teeth. We want to make it as non-frightening and pretentious as possible – to have people get up there and write and get their ideas on paper.

Rooney said she agreed.

This year more than ever we’re trying to make it as open as possible, she said. People at this stage of their life are going to write like college students. We are college students, and we want to provide a forum for that.

Freshman Kate Herring played a song on her guitar for the group.

I love to play, and I hadn’t played here yet, she said. It’s a great outlet.

Harding also shared a piece of his personal poetic work, entitled Sick.

There’s a whole pool of bad poetry out there, and I’m about to add to it, he said to the crowd before he read.

Sophomore Justin Petrone played a song entitled New Spirituality on his electric guitar.

I’ve been writing stuff for awhile, I just thought I’d try it out here, he said.

Petrone also read his poem Head Trip.

The next issue of Wooden Teeth will be released in December or early January, Markoe said. She said they are planning another Coffee House for Dec. 3.

One of the things I really like about this magazine is it gets the community in touch with the arts, Markoe said.

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