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Poetryfest Celebrates Five College Student Artists

By Nicole Berckes ’04

The second annual Five College Poetryfest, on Wednesday, February 18, is a good illustration of artistic interaction and cooperation among institutions in the Five College consortium.

The festival, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, at Amherst College, “has been conceived and planned by a faculty committee to celebrate the art of poetry by giving recognition to student poets,” according to a Five Colleges, Inc. press release.

From Smith, that faculty committee includes Ellen Watson, head of Smith’s Poetry Center, and Anne Boutelle, senior lecturer in English language and literature.

This year’s Smith student participants are Katherine Rickenbacker ’04 and Sarah Moon ’04, both of whom have worked with Watson and Boutelle in rehearsing and refining their poetry in preparation for the festival.

“It’s been really great to have [Watson and Boutelle] here because they remind me that poetry is fun and it’s something that I love and that fills me to a certain extent,” says Moon.

The annual Poetryfest is a wonderful showcase of student work, says Watson. “I just hope this goes on and on,” she says. Before the festival, nothing existed among the five colleges that united the students and their diverse styles and types of poetry.

Each of the five colleges chooses their respective festival representatives internally.

For her part, Moon says she fell in love with poetry at age 6. “I was smitten,” she recalls. Both Moon and Rickenbacker have been writing poetry since high school, they say.

Now they will perform it as participants in this year’s Poetryfest. For an online sneak peak at some of the poems to be recited at the festival, consult and click on Five College Student Poetryfest.

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