Students share their poetry at a poetry reading
The Fall 2022 section of English 388, Cal Poly’s poetry writing class, put together a poetry reading
at A Satellite of Love, a vintage store in San Luis Obispo, on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Cal Poly English professor, Leslie St. John, wanted students to get experience outside
“We just had a really special group and I wanted to celebrate them in some way and I
just miss them all and they all wanted to get together,” St. John said. “And so I thought, what
better way to do it then to do a poetry reading? I think it’s beneficial to students because it kind
of takes their poetry out of just an academic setting and brings it into the world and helps them
to see themselves as artists.”
The name of this event was “Poetry Can Do Something.”
“So we often hear, especially at Cal Poly, which is a strongly STEM based school, that
poetry can’t really do anything,” St. John said. “It can’t start a car, it can’t solve world hunger. I
think poetry actually can do something very important for us, which is to help us create an inner
life, an interior life that’s capable of better understanding our outer life, this complex from which
To take this motto further, this event was free admission with the donation of a canned
good to be donated to the SLO Food Bank.
For many students such as sophomore child development major, Megan Foot, this was
their first time reading poetry in front of an audience.
“I probably wouldn’t have done anything like this if it weren’t, if she didn’t set it up,” Foot
said. “And now, I don’t know, I felt really good reading and now I’m inspired to do more open
mic nights and stuff.”
Attendees were able to enjoy drinks, a raffle and life jazz music during the breaks.
At the end of the scheduled readers, there was an open mic for anyone in the place to
read their poetry.
“I think It’s going really well. People seem to be having a good time,” Foot said. “I love
the music. People are chatting and It was really sweet walking around after people I don’t know
saying something about my reading.”
Students can take English 388 to learn more about poetry.
“I learned so much in this class,” Foot said. “Not just about poetry but about how to
connect to yourself and your body and other people. And it was a really valuable experience for
me. It was one of my favorite classes I’ve taken. I highly recommend.”
Some of the poetry read can be found here.