It is a widely known fact Sam Houston State University is a vastly diverse campus containing students of all different lifestyles, cultures, and backgrounds. Here at SHSU we are fortunate enough to attend school around so many intelligent, creative, and talented peers.
Many Bearkats have taken their unique talents and passions and turned them into creative outlets. Some engage their fellow students and encourage them to express themselves as well.
One student-run activity that does just is the weekly Poets Lounge hosted by junior English major Daniel Johnson. Johnson said that the Poets Lounge has been something that has happened during previous semesters but, after a period of dormancy, he decided to bring it back to life again.
“It’s not so much my idea to start it as it is to restart it. It had gone on for a number of years and I missed the environment. I owe that environment to my growth,” Johnson said.
Johnson described the process of Poets Lounge as a laidback environment where all students are welcome to step up and share.
“It’s an open mic kind of thing. You put your name down, and when it’s your turn, you come spit. The intention is to share your original work,” Johnson said.
Johnson is passionate about poetry. He says he is proud to be running the Poets Lounge now, as it is a rewarding experience for him.
“For me, just proving to myself that I can do it [is rewarding]. If you asked me a few years ago if I would be hosting the Lounge, I would have laughed. But here I am,” Johnson said.
He also talked about how his experience attending past Poets Lounge events has had a great impact.
“The first time I went, just sitting there and being exposed to the different styles and different expressions of poetry. It was eye opening for sure,” Johnson said. “The first time I ever shared anything, I remember being nervous, but people seemed to like it. The more I came, the better my writing got. Making the Slam Team was cool too.”
Johnson said that although turnouts haven’t been so great for the first few meetings of Poets Lounge, he his hoping more students will start coming in once the semester gets rolling. Johnson believes that Poets Lounge and groups like it are an important outlet to be made available to students.
“Poetry itself is my outlet, and sharing it gives me power,” Johnson said. “ I don’t think I’m the only person who owes poetry that debt.”
Poets Lounge is held every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in the LSC, room 320