Slam. Poetry. At THELMA!


Martin Vu, Writer

“Slam. Poetry. Yelling. Angry. Waving my hands, a lot. Specific point of view on things!” This was Schmidt’s opening line when he was invited to perform a poetry piece in the movie, 22 Jump Street. Making it up on the spotSchmidt was poking fun at poets. Although I found the scene and movie to be very humorous, poetry takes a lot of time. I love reading and writing poems. So, when I heard that there would be a community reading held at the THELMA Arts Center, I knew I had to attend.

The Wisconsin Poet, Margaret Rozga, is coming and presenting a collection of her works. She has published many collections of poetry. Her first book, “200 Nights and One Day,” received a bronze medal in poetry for the Wisconsin Library Association in 2009. 

Margaret Rozga is not the first Wisconsin writer to present at THELMA. Recently, I was able to see Nickolas Butler present a piece from his newest novel, “Little Faith.” Butler was raised in Eau Claire and is known for his book, “Shotgun Lovesongs,” a story about five narrators sharing tales about their lives. His book won many awards, including the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award.

Last semester, I was able to sit and eat with Butler. He was very casual, honest, and extremely kind. After dinner, he presented a story in his book and opened up for questions and comments. This relaxed and informal gathering was very enjoyable and unique. It was a great opportunity that allowed me to meet a successful writer.

Another incredible experience that is provided at the readings is an Open Mic. I took this opportunity to present my poem before Butler went on stage. The audience was caring and supportive. Rozga’s event will also have an Open Mic, and I will definitely share a poem again. 

Rozga’s reading event will take place on February 19, and it will be held at the THELMA Sadoff Center for the Arts this Wednesday at 7 PM. Be sure to come out and listen to an astonishing poet! Or maybe you can perform a piece yourself at the Open Mic. Regardless, it is undoubtedly a wonderful experience.