First Exiled Open Mic Hears Unique Poems, Stories


Members of the society in Allison Hall ion the night of the event.

Claire Jeantheau ’21, Contributing Writer

Nineteen students shared their unique works over the course of the evening on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Allison Hall Community Room.

The event was hosted by Dickinson’s spoken word poetry group, the Exiled Poetry Society, and students who are both members of Exiled and not used the event to share poetry, stories and other talents.

The night began with the current poets of Exiled Poetry Society giving an introduction to the purpose of their group before turning the floor over to other performances.

Greg Wilson ’16, former Exiled poet, centered his poem, which was performed to a thumping beat, around situations where he had been offered things he did not want. He tied together each story with a shouted refrain of “No way!” Wilson interacted with the audience throughout his presentation, moving around chairs and inviting students to join in with his chants.

“Exile[d] has a special place for me because it taught me how to find my voice,” Wilson said. “I encourage every one of you to come into Exile[d], audition…find that little bit of voice you didn’t know you had.”

Another poem, read by Jackie Ryan ’18, titled “I Ask, I Wonder And I Thank,” tackled universal questions. “How is resilience grown?” Ryan asked. “…What about children gives them never-ending optimism towards the world?”

Janel Pineda ’18, an Exiled poet, read a poem she had written in response to the events of the 2016 presidential election; it described her personal experiences and reactions to the others around her.  Pineda said she opted to read it for Open Mic Night because “…the things that we are scared of happening have been happening.”

Students’ works weren’t exclusively limited to poetry; Noah Davis ’20, a music performance major, played the saxophone while scat singing. He also told a personal story about his relationship with music. Davis said that over the summer, he worried that he had lost his drive to practice music, but it returned as he volunteered with a Pre-Orientation group and watched them write a song about “this crazy candy they got from Sheetz.”

“I think music is that self-expression…I’m here just to express what I’m feeling,” Davis said, summing up what he’d learned from his experiences.

Open Mic Night left a definite impression on Elizabeth Pineo ’21: “The range and depth of talent among the Dickinson student body never fails to amaze me. Whether it be slam poetry or a saxophone solo, these gems are always found in the moments I’d least expect them.”

The Exiled Poetry Society will be following Open Mic Night with several activities such as “a poetry slam, but we haven’t set a date yet,” added Pineda.