Students bring poetry to life

April 14, 2014

Sheldon Gaynor took first prize in HCC's Spoken Word/Poetry Open Mic competition.Bryce Celotto reads a poem at the Spoken Word competition last week.

By Ginger Moon

From performance regulars to curious passers-by, open mic devotees and those encouraged to attend by their English professors, HCC's Spring 2014 Spoken Word/Poetry Open Mic event April 9 attracted a mixed crowd of both performers and listeners.

Five performers participated in the competitive portion of the event. Sheldon Gaynor took first place for a touching and personal narrative poem dedicated to his father. Alexander, an experienced public speaker, also performed a poem about the inherent satisfaction in writing poetry, titled "Poesía."

Bryce Celotto and Shaylyn Relihan took second and third place, respectively. Celotto performed "Survivor's Guilt," a piece he wrote about the emotional effects of witnessing an attack on his mother. It is a piece he says he has performed many times, but never before at school.

Relihan performed a poem, written anonymously, about Rosa Parks, "I am only one person." Although Relihan does not write her own poetry, she said she enjoys bringing others' words to life.

Other performers included Bill Wieliczka, who also hosted the event, and Ed Stathis. Wieliczka's rant, "F*** Facebook" was an honest piece that encouraged listeners to do some "real world s***" and "talk about it later." Ed Stathis read his poem, "The Blackness of Light," which was inspired by the extended power outage caused by the October 2012 snowstorm and asks the question, "What do you do when the world turns black?"

A handful of performers went up for the open mic portion. The Spoken Word/Poetry Open Mic is sponsored by HCC's Creative Writing Club and is held each semester.

Photos: (Left) Sheldon Gaynor took first place in the Spring 2014 Spoken Word/Poetry Open Mic competition. (Right) Bryce Celotte took second place. (Thumbnail) Shaylyn Rehilan took third place.



Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040