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The Northerner

Poetry used to protest war

Joe Lamb

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Last Wednesday, students, alumni and faculty gathered in the Otto M. Budig Theater to express their feelings about the possible war in Iraq through poetry.

The event, sponsored by John Alberti, Bob Wallace and Kristine Yohe, professors in the Literature and Language Department, was one of 160 poetry against war activities held nation-wide last week.

The idea started when Sam Hamill, founding editor and co-founder of Copper Canyon Press, received a letter from Laura Bush inviting him to an event at the White House called “Poetry and the American Voice”.

Hamill decided to deny the invitation as a form of protest against the possible war with Iraq.

News of this spread rapidly and soon events like the one at NKU were being planned across the nation.

Poems about peace, justice and the horrors of war were shared with the crowd. One student reader, Jesse McDonald, shared “War Is” written by student Brandon Hill, as well as his own work called “Dickswinging Contest”.

“This event went very well,” McDonald said, “I’m glad they let us come in and share our personal poetry,”

One of the event coordinators, John Alberti, compared the current war protests to what happened during the Vietnam War. “This is really the most anti-war protesting before any shots were fired,” Alberti said. “A lot of this activism is a result of the internet.”

Most attendees at the NKU event were there to speak out against the war in Iraq. However, not everyone supported this viewpoint.

Freshman Michael Tobergta shared a poem that clearly showed his disgust for war protesters.

“I honestly believe that demoralizing our troops is not effective,” said Tobergta. “My anger is directed at protesters and the freedoms the American people abuse on a daily basis.”

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Poetry used to protest war