Arts, On Campus

Literary Magazines Host Poetry Reading at Local Café

Students bundled in winter clothes packed into the coffee shop Fuel America on Thursday night. Friends and members of Boston College’s student literary journals, The Stylus and The Laughing Medusa, filled up booths in the front of the café for a publication launch and poetry reading event. 

Baristas took coffee orders from attendees, and complimentary sandwiches were laid out for the audience. Both publications were displayed on a center table in the cafe. The Stylus’ Fall 2021 edition and The Laughing Medusa’s new release—titled “the molting medusa”—were quickly distributed among the students, featuring colorful cover art by Patrick Berzins, MCAS ’22, and Mikaela Savage, MCAS ’24.

The BC student band Photo Negative played at the event and added to the ambience with acoustic tunes, filling the cafe with more mellow music that differed from its up-tempo Paradise Rock Club show on Dec. 4. Multiple songs featured the band’s saxophonist, Stephen Ventura, CSOM ’22, as Photo Negative played blues and soft rock covers such as “Friend of The Devil” by the Grateful Dead. 

The Laughing Medusa and The Stylus took turns with a scheduled program of poetry and prose recitation. The student authors’ pieces touched on themes of feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, and isolation. There were also moments of humor mixed in with comments on the absurdities of BC’s libraries and dining, including the disturbing coughs that break through the silence in O’Neill Library and the comfort that sushi at The Rat brings with every lunchtime.

Speakers from The Stylus displayed comparatively long-form prose works, while The Laughing Medusa exhibited experimental and often concise pieces from its new release. Programming from “the molting medusa” included “august” and “backwater blues,” by Lexie Slotterback, Lynch ’22, and “Rat sushi,” by Sarah Knapp, CSOM ’24. 

The audience followed each piece with loud clapping, snaps, and shows of support. 

Following the scheduled readings, the publications opened up the floor to audience members to present their own original works, whether or not the pieces were included in the recent journal editions. Gradually, some attendees made their way to the microphone to read their poems. They captivated the café with the thought-provoking imagery in their pieces, showcasing the students’ imaginative freedom. 

The night wrapped up with students trying more of Fuel America’s sandwiches and lattés and reading the new releases, showing pride and support for the latest artistic endeavors of BC students.

Featured Image by Paterson Tran / Heights Editor

Featured Video by Seeun Ahn / Heights Editor

December 12, 2021