By Cem Burnham
Poetry lovers can express themselves through GCC’s poetry club, The Black Cat Poets. Published poets will be featured during some meetings, such as Navajo poet Sherwin Bitsui. Members also participate in poetry slams, which are friendly competitions showcasing a poet’s talents through presentation. The purpose is to convey the feeling behind the poetry. Poems usually relate to what’s going on with popular culture. Audience participation is a crucial part of a slam. The audience can cheer a high score and boo a low score. Participants are usually awarded first-, second- and third-place honors and a prize. Poetry workshops are available through a partnership with the Glendale Public Library. From Oct. 8 through May, students can participate in various workshops such as the art of rhyme, improvisation, and public speaking for poets. The workshops will be held at GCC and the Glendale library. Above all, Johnnie Clemens May, the club’s adviser and English faculty member, wants members and prospective members to know that the main purpose of the club is “a way to share the love of poetry among people who like poetry.” The club is not focused on criticism, but appreciating the different types of poetry expressed. The club is in its third year, and looking for new members. The club was founded by Tera Williams, who was a student at GCC and a lover of poetry. Two years ago she asked May if she would be an adviser for a poetry club. The club got its name from a club Williams belonged to in high school, also called The Black Cat Poets. The club was then born. The club will meet for the first time this semester on Sept. 22. The club is expected to meet the first and third Wednesday of each month from 3-4 p.m., in room SU110. Contact May for more information at (623) 845-3538.