November 14, 2018

7C’s Poetry Community

sign on the entrance to the Kingsley & Kate Tufts offices and poetry library at Claremont Graduate University

Poetry has a special place here at Claremont Graduate University. The Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards remains the biggest poetry resource here. The website itself offers information on the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, past winners, and audio and video highlighting their incredible works. It also holds this very wonderful blog, in which I get to share my voice and opinions. Then there’s the Kingsley & Kate Tufts poetry library, which is equally exciting but somehow less known. This little nook in the basement of Harper Hall houses hundreds of titles of contemporary poetry books, mostly from the last few years. Students and faculty from across the 7Cs are welcome to visit and select free books to take home, an absolute treasure trove of an opportunity that blew me away. Books are generally available M-F 9:00-1:00; to ensure access, you should email to make an appointment. The poetry library is no joke, and truly took my breath away when I first entered it. A space like this, full to the brim with modern poetry work that so oftentimes remains inaccessible, is so rare. And to be able to take some home? For free? Thrilling. The Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, along with CGU’s student-run Foothill Poetry Journal, also hosts an open mic and book giveaway in the School of Arts and Humanities backyard every spring, which is a great opportunity to share your words, make new poetry friends, and take home some books.

Poets browse for books at the Spring open mic + book giveaway in the SAH Backyard

I was so delighted to discover the poetry corner here on my own campus that it made me curious about what the other C’s had to offer in regards to poetry and writing. I was directed to the Five C’s Creative Writing wordpress site, and found another hidden gem. This blog offers all the info you could want on creative writing offerings at the Claremont Colleges, which as a new student, I knew nothing about and was so excited to find. They list all the upcoming campus events, like the November 14th reading and conversation with Nathan Englander. They also offer several social media platforms for various writing groups, like the Facebook page for the 5C Wordsmiths: A Creative Writing Community. This is another great platform where like minded writers get to share events, workshops, and thoughts with each other, a beautiful space that can sometimes be hard to find, or lost, amongst so many campuses and students.

Amidst my own searching, I found a page with everything Scripps College has to offer its students in regards to writing. There are various sections, like Competitions and Awards, Publications Accepting Student Writing, as well as information on their writing center and other resources. Claremont McKenna College has their Writing and Research Series of 2018-2019 posted, with past events like “An Evening of Poetry with Richard Blanco” and Tina Nguyen ’11 – “Live from the Dumpster Fire: The Challenges of Journalism in the Trump Era,” as well as upcoming writing studios. In my search through Pomona College, I found some awesome lists of past readings, slams, and workshops that have been held when I looked up poetry, like Intruder between Rivers / Intruso entre ríos, a bilingual poetry reading and Poetry is Not a Luxury: Creative Writing Workshop + Open Mic (which of course drew my eye).

Overall, I’m more than pleased with the amount of opportunity and support for students writers in my community. The resources are so varied that there’s truly something for everyone, and more than enough poetry to go around. It took some digging and eager inquiry for my to find everything, and that’s why I’m so excited to consolidate my findings into one place for others to access with ease. Feel free to let me know what to add to my ever-growing list of poetry and writing resources here, and take advantage of what we’re so lucky to have! Trust me, if I could live in that little library, I would.

the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Library at CGU

Annamae Sax