Hey friend, I have a question for you: Have you given yourself time to feel what comes out of the blue? Have you had time to release your burdens? On Thursday, UConn Poetic Release, UConn Collaborative Organizing (UCCO) and the Benton Museum came together to heal the UConn community (virtually) through the art of many talented students.
As a veteran attendee of the event, this event was very different from last year due to the restrictions COVID-19 put in place. With this said, I feel as though these restrictions, election anxiety and the unfortunate events that befell the world in 2020 have brought fellow attendees closer together in order to love one another and heal.
“We partnered with Poetic Release for this event because we thought it would be a great way to address mental health and wellness and have folks release how they feel to heal through poetry,” Brittany Diaz, a fifth-semester political science and human rights double major and the president of UCCO, said. “A lot of this is intersectional because healing through poetry can be seen as activism or advocacy in many ways.”
This spoken word event couldn’t have been held at a better time. With the weight of the world on everyone’s shoulders, this hour-and-a-half lessened the load that speakers and consumers came in with. The poetry ranged from releasing barred emotions, to finding happiness in one’s self to analyzing the current state of the world; with each poem you could sense power which had the power to touch the hearts of those in the virtual Zoom meeting.
“I think spaces like this are so important especially in 2020 where everyone is going through so much,” Maria Diaz-Islas, a fifth-semester psychology major, said. “With so much activism and movements happening, there needs to be a space for art to be created.”
While there are many forms of activism and healing, you may be wondering, “Why heal through poetry?”
“Writing in and of itself is a form of meditation,” Mar Pelaez, a human rights and political science double major and the president of Poetic Release, said. “It is a good way of healing because you are learning about yourself through writing.”
Throughout the night, not only did the participants share laughs and words, but they also made new friends due to bonding through amazing poetry.
“I think there is something about connecting with other students at your university that is really special,” Marylee Pabst, a third-semester electrical engineering major, said. “I’m in San Diego right now at home living with my parents and I’ve befriended people in Poetic Release I haven’t met in real life.”
Despite the current day-to-day troubles we face, UConn Collaborative Organizing, Poetic Release and the Benton Museum did an amazing job connecting students through activism and poetry. Both Poetic Release and UCCO created a warm atmosphere in which students found peace and closure. With this successful event in the books, I look forward to all that the two clubs as well as the museum have in store.