Tag Archives: Poetry

Humans of Eddy: Slamogadro

image credit: Slamogadro

image credit: Slamogadro

~From English Department Communications Intern Tim Mahoney

Take a stroll down the main plaza and you are to likely see many student advertisements written in chalk on the sides of the buildings. While many such advertisements have failed to capture my attention, earlier this semester while walking into the Clark Building I happened to notice in big pink lettering a promotion for a slam poetry competition known as “Slamogadro.”

I had never been to Slamogadro, a monthly slam poetry competition hosted by CSU English majors Chris Vanjonack, Summers Baker, Andrew Walker, and Kate McHargue, along with Lauren Funai, but with the end of my collegiate career in sight I decided to attend and hear the work of my fellow undergraduate English majors.

image credit: Slamogadro

October 26th Slamogadro event at Avo’s, image credit: Haley Grace Photography

Taking place on the last Sunday of each month, Slamogadro gives undergraduate students and writers in the Fort Collins community an outlet to showcase their poetry in a constructive and supportive environment. And while Slamogadro is essentially a competition with a “winner” being declared at the end, the main focus of the night was not on the judge’s scores but on supporting the different poets and their performances.

“It’s all about becoming a better writer,” said CSU English major and poetry judge Moonier Said. “Slamogadro is about connecting with people who will push you to better yourself and your writing.”

As undergraduates, the bulk of our writing practices often take place inside the classroom, but there are ways to extend those practices into the larger Fort Collins community. Slamogadro brings together students and community members who have a shared interest in poetry, and offers writers the opportunity to read their work in front of an audience.

It was a wonderful experience seeing so many authors read their work and I can’t recommend this event enough as an outlet for authors, as well as fans of poetry and the performing arts. Slamogadro takes place at Avogadro’s Number of Mason Street at 7:30p.m on the last Sunday of the month.

Bean Cycle, image by Tim Mahoney

Bean Cycle, image by Tim Mahoney

On a related note, there is also an open-mic slam poetry competition held on the first Friday of every month at the Bean Cycle in Old Town, hosted by Wolverine Farms Publishing. Both events are free and open to the public. I encourage everyone to attend these events and support CSU’s wonderful undergraduate writers.

Gary Snyder Reading

image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Poet Gary Snyder read on September 17, 2014 at the University Art Center. This event was attended by English Department Communications intern Tim Mahoney, who had this to share:

Last week, CSU’s English Department invited renowned author, Gary Snyder, to campus for a reading of his latest work. While I was annoyed that I had missed the turn for the University Center for the Arts, instinctively heading towards the library (where I spend many of my nights), I was excited that this visit was not strictly for business.

I’ve always enjoyed attending the readings sponsored by the English Department. Our reading series draws many talented authors to campus to share their fiction, non-fiction, or poetry with students, faculty, and the Fort Collins community. This semester, we were lucky enough to have Gary Snyder come and read from his new volume of poetry, beautifully entitled, This Present Moment. Before he began his reading, we were told that the event was to be moved to a larger auditorium to accommodate the large number of people in attendance. There was a slight delay as the ushers clambered to set up the new venue, and move the audience row by row to the new location, but the move was quick and seamless. Although I heard a few groans from some of the patrons, as they gathered their things and prepared to move down the hall, it was amazing to see so many people come out and show their support for the English Department’s reading series. Soon after everyone was settled, Snyder was welcomed to an uproarious applause and the reading was underway.

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Snyder, who was immortalized in Jack Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums, and who participated in the historic Six Gallery Reading — which launched the Beat Generation Movement — took the stage to read selections from his latest volume including poems about his college sweetheart, his late wife, the beauty and destructive nature of forest fires, Indian marital arrangements, relaxation, and life’s many paths.

He opened with the poem dedicated to his college sweetheart, reminiscing about the time he spent with her, perfectly capturing the wonderful power of nostalgia and past love. His next poem, “Off the Trail,” dedicated to his late wife Carole, took us even deeper into that strangely wonderful feeling of remembrance. His ability to look back at his life with such clarity and grace moved me in ways that might have been missed had I only read his poems in print.

No path will get you there, we’re off the trail,
You and I, and we chose it!
~Gary Snyder, “Off the Trail”

Gary Snyder reading, image by Sarah Sloane

Gary Snyder reading, image by Sarah Sloane

Hearing poetry read has a completely different feel; the author’s voice and tone enhance the words. To fully experience a poem, I need to hear it performed. Snyder’s performance of his work was spectacular to say the least; his voice, breaths, and personality all contributed to an experience that cannot be contained on paper. I left the auditorium that night a true enthusiast of his work.

I recommend that every English major should attend these readings. It was incredible to hear Snyder’s work, and to see him perform his poetry. Sitting there with friends, classmates, and professors, as well members of the larger community, I couldn’t help but be moved by Snyder’s poetry and his passion for life, nature, and love of living in the present moment.

Gary Snyder singing books, image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder singing books, image by Tim Mahoney


Next reading in the Creative Writing Reading Series: Writers’ Harvest with Ira Sukrungruang and Sasha Steensen, Poetry and Prose, University Center for the Arts, Museum, Thursday October 23rd at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsors of the Reading Series include the English Department and Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University, Organization of Graduate Student Writers through ASCSU, Mike Liggett, Tae Nosaka, and the Poudre River Library District.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information e-mail andrewnmangan@gmail.com. For a full listing of 2014-2015 Creative Writing Reading series events, please visit: http://english.colostate.edu/docs/reading-series-poster.pdf