Department of Romance Languages hosts packed poetry night with Laura Cesarsco Eglin

Students, community share poetry in Leyburn Library’s Book Nook

Laura Cesarsco Eglin shared her poetry with students and community members. Photo courtesy of The Columns.

Laura Cesarsco Eglin shared her poetry with students and community members. Photo courtesy of The Columns.

Annalisa Waddick

Uruguayan poet Laura Cesarsco Eglin read her poetry as the featured speaker at the annual Department of Romance Languages poetry night on Thursday, November 7 in Leyburn Library.

Eglin has written four collections of poetry and two chapter books, and her work has appeared in literary journals worldwide. Additionally, she is a co-founder and publisher of Veliz books, an independent literary press that publishes work in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The event was complete with cookies and lemonade. The event took place in the Book Nook, which was packed with students eager to both recite and hear poetry. Most of the students in the crowd were from Spanish classes but there were students from the French, Porutguese and Italian programs as well.

Some high school students from the surrounding area also ready poetry and a few members of the Lexington community joined students, faculty and staff in Leyburn.

“Tonight through poetry, we are cohering into a unified community of disparate people, enjoying the interweaving of our lives through literary pleasures,” Seth Michelson, Poetry Night 2019 Organizer and assistant professor of Spanish, wrote in the program.

The night opened with Eglin reading a few poems in Spanish from her collection Reborn in Ink, followed by student presenters reading either their own original work or the work of other poets. The night continued in this fashion, alternating between Eglin reading her work and students reading theirs.

Gracen Wiggins, ‘23, was one of the first presenters of the night. She recited Pablo Neruda’s work entitled A Callarse.

“I [am] thankful for the opportunity to share the message that Pablo Naruda presented in the poem that I chose,” Wiggins said. When asked whether or not she would participate in a future reading, she responded with a resounding “definitely.”

Allie Stankewich, ‘23, was another student presenter. She presented the poem No me llames extranjero, written by Rafael Amor.

“I really enjoyed the poetry night,” Stankewich said. “I think it was a really neat experience to hear so many different perspectives in different languages that brought to life a lot of verbal art and themes that are really important but aren’t talked about a lot.”

Sharon Mendieta Ramirez, ‘23, was highly impressed by the event, and was very glad to have both attended and presented a poem.

“I thought it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had so far during my time at W&L,” Ramirez said. “It was just so cool being able to see all the different languages and everyone’s reciting poems and the guest speaker, her poetry was very inspiring. I just loved it.”