A Cal Poly Celebration of All Things Love: LoverSpeak 2013

By Keren Scarlat on February 15, 2013

Although poetry is thought to be a dead art form, associated with Shakespearean sonnets of the past, frilly words and dresses, and sappy gestures of love, it was very much alive at this year’s LoverSpeak.  Tuesday night’s event took the annual fundraiser poetry reading, put on by the editors of Cal Poly’s literary journal, Byzantium, to a whole ‘nother level. Any and every aspect of love was fair game and the night was the event’s most raunchy, heartfelt, and love-packed year yet. Not to mention people-packed. LoverSpeak’s attendance was through the roof and it showed. All the desks were filled within the first five minutes and guests lined the walls, sitting and standing in every crevice of the classroom, including in small circle groups on the ground behind the speakers themselves. This created an atmosphere of camaraderie, companionship, and casualness. Also, a possible fire hazard? Ah, the things we do for love.

The 17 speakers ranged from English professors to students of all majors and years, matching the diversity of their material. Readers shared original poems, songs, unconventional cat stories, and works of famous writers, touching on almost all of the many faces of this crazy little thing called love. It was a glimpse not only into the creative musings of the readers, but also a look at what it is that brings us all together. The event as a whole created a vibe of understanding, connection, and a stirring of the human spirit. This was reflected by audience reactions, ranging from can’t-breathe laughter to solemn silence, demonstrating the profound effect poetry still has on our modern culture.

As both a reader and an audience member, I was floored by the fantastic show of support, each ticket adding more money towards making this year’s issue of Byzantium well-crafted and beautiful. I felt proud to be a member of the English department, as zany and kooky as it is (for further information, please see “Jim Cushing”). LoverSpeak 2013  was a wonderful culminating experience for me as a last-quarter senior and a final confirmation that I am in the right department at Cal Poly.

Please look out for the unveiling of Byzantium, sometime late April or early May at Sally Loo’s Cafe!

Note: all photos by Stephanie Brazelton, senior Photography major at Cal Poly

By Keren Scarlat

Uloop Writer
Keren is an Israeli-American with a passion for reading, writing, snowboarding, music, and travel. She is trilingual, suffering from post-study abroad Spain withdrawals, and strongly identifies with her rich cultural background. Keren graduated from Cal Poly in March 2013 with a B.A. in English and is now pursuing her goal of teaching high school English in Poly’s Single Subject English Credential Program. She cannot imagine a better career than getting high schoolers to love literature as much as she does.

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