SMC's 75th anniversary celebrated with poetry

"Many Voices, Many Styles," a poetry event, featured faculty and
student readings in the Concert Hall on Friday. The 6:30 p.m. event
introduced Santa Monica College's 75th Anniversary through poetry.
It enabled many poets to express themselves directly through various
styles of poetry, reflecting their visions as well as their concerns with

Poets of all ages from the Associated Students and the English Department sponsored the event, which was coordinated by Professors Wilfred Doucet and Mario Padilla, and moderated by Professor Daniel Cano. The student speakers included A.S. President Jeronimo Saldana, SMC student Hailey Gilmore, Miguel Murphy and one alumni reader, Ericka Herman.

The faculty readers included Wilfred Doucet, Carol Davis, Mario Padilla and Jack Ahrens.

Through a form of expression, each individual reader brought his/her own style through the readings by adjusting tones to suite characters and included accents to bring the characters alive in most cases. The topics discussed and the characters introduced gave the audience a chance to relate or incorporate themselves through some of the human experiences that one encounters.

"Poetry I think is a great mode of self expression that should be encouraged amongst youth today," said SMC student Albin Bandera.

The event was held earlier than usual. It usually takes place in April and usually includes a mixture of poetry and fiction.

There was no particular uniform style in the pieces presented by every individual poet, which effectively brought informal flavor to the event by means of word usage and content.

According to Padilla, slam poetry allows people to become aware through the communication of different styles of poetry and different standards of poetry.

"The body is used to present a performance of one's physical self," said Padilla.

Each poet had approximately 10 minutes to read their best works. Their pieces were based on either real life experiences or encounters in everyday life in which they might have been inspired.

Several free forms of self expression brought the poets together during the closing discussion.

"Poetry really comes to what makes us the same. There's no age to words and meaning," said Ahrens during the discussion.

To some it may be the most natural form of getting a message through
to a wide audience. Doucet has been reading and performing poetry for
25 years.

"Poetry seemed the most natural, comfortable form," said Doucet. The oral performances brought the poets together through several forms of expression through open and free style forms.