Poetry reading kicks off Women’s History Month


Shara McCallum, a poet and author, shares poems from her recent book “Madwoman” with SU.

Every seat in the Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center Chapel was filled with students and faculty taking in the fascinating art of poetry Thursday during a poetry reading hosted by Shippensburg University’s Women’s Center.

“A Celebration of Female Voices: Poetry Reading” brought together three poets who each shared her personal take and experiences on the topic of women.

While discussing a serious and sensitive topic such as violence against women and women empowerment, the poets found ways to break the ice and make the audience less tense. Between readings, the poets talked to the audience and explained the meanings of their poems, while trying to have fun at the same time.

The first poet of the evening was Shara McCallum, who read from her new book “Madwoman.” The poems McCallum read were deep and thought provoking as she explained the three developing stages of a woman’s life: girl, woman and mother.

Poet Nin Andrews followed McCallum’s reading, and also read poems from her own book “Why God is a Woman.” In Andrews’ book, the roles between women and men are flipped, making women more powerful than men, which in turn made individuals question society’s ideals.

“On the island where I come from, women rule,” Andrews said in one of her poems.

Andrews especially grabbed the attention of the audience by using her poetry to emphasize how men actually treat women. For example, men have an unequal and higher pay in jobs compared to women.

Jan Beatty was the final poet and read from her new book “Jackknife.” Beatty’s poems showed the audience a darker side in comparison to the other two poets, as many of her poems were about anger.

Beatty discussed some of the horrible things women go through, such as rape and assault, in one of her poems. Her powerful and poetic voice wrapped up the poetry reading with a bang, and began Women’s History Month off as well.

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