On April 23rd, the world honored the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare in a variety of ways including poetry readings, play performances, and exhibitions. Here at Lehigh, the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries and the Lehigh University Creative Writing Program expanded upon Lehigh’s annual celebration of National Poetry Month, adding a focus on the sonnet as a way to honor William Shakespeare. The first-ever Sonnet SLAM! was held on Thursday, April 21st in the Bayer Galleria. Lunch was provided by the Lehigh University Creative Writing Program. During the event, Special Collections displayed all four of the Shakespeare’s Folios owned by Lehigh.
The Sonnet SLAM! took the form of open-mike readings of sonnets that were of original composition or favorites from such authors as Shakespeare and Robert Frost.
As Jenna Lay, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English noted, "this event provided an excellent opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and friends to gather in celebration of undergraduate writing and to recognize the deep literary tradition upon which that writing builds." First-year student Vito Scocozzo commented that “I found the event to be a great opportunity to celebrate Shakespeare and his famous works, as well as see several of his folios. I can't imagine that many people get to see them up close and personal like we did, especially because of how rare and valuable they are now. I was also blown away by some of the writings of my fellow students. Who knows, maybe we will be celebrating their writings too some day!”
Also at the event, Amaranth unveiled their latest issue. Hard copies of the 2016 Amaranth are available from the Department of English. Attendees of the Sonnet SLAM! were treated to readings by writers featured in the latest Amaranth.
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