On April 26, the Beulah-Williams Library round room was the site of the last poetry reading of the year, featuring some of Northern State University’s most talented poets — the poets of Dr. Lysbeth Benkert-Rasmussen’s Creative Writing in Poetry class. Dr. Benkert-Rasmussen, Professor of English and the host for all of this year’s poetry readings, could not help but brag about her students, and she was absolutely right to do so.
Dr. Benkert-Rasmussen mentioned before the speakers began that this class fit every good characteristic that a class possibly could, and her pride and confidence in her students was very clear.
Those who attended were privileged to hear readings from students as well as the two teaching assistants for the Creative Writing course, including: Jessalyn Holsing, Seleucia Heintzmann, Matt Murray, Crystal Terhune, Meghan Conn, Shane Haler, Michaela Schaefer, Jace Johnson, and teaching assistants Erin Noehre and Kaitlynn Loos.
Each of the writers shared at least three poems, and each poem exemplified the raw talent that Northern students possess.
Even more impressive was the transparency the speakers had with the audience. It takes a lot of courage for writers, especially writers who are at the start of their careers, to share personal works with an audience.
The confidence and personality expressed by the speakers through their poems was incredible. Each piece shared emanated a powerful feel, and the audience reflected those emotions.
Fortunately, some of the poets who read have works published in the newest edition of Northern Lights magazine, which went on sale April 19.
Northern Lights magazine is a collection of original artistic works including poems, short stories, photographs, sketches, and paintings that were created by Northern students. This year’s and last year’s issues are still available for sale, so make sure to grab one before they run out. For information on where to purchase the magazine, contact Dr. Patrick Whiteley at Patrick.Whiteley@northern.edu.
Several of Dr. Benkert-Rasmussen’s students commented that they grew as poets and were delighted to see how far they have come since the start of the semester. The students provided her with a huge thank you for being such a marvelous teacher and for encouraging them as aspiring poets.