Dozens of Alfred State College (ASC) Pioneers came together recently to share, listen, and reflect during a virtual poetry reading held on Microsoft Teams.
The event was presented by the English and Humanities Department and Ergo, the college’s literary and artistic publication, which is advised by SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Dr. Aniko Constantine. Roughly 40 students and 10 faculty and administrators attended.
Preceding the poetry reading was a virtual gallery of student artwork, accompanied by original music composed by Aaron Kruk, an undeclared major from New City. The poetry reading began with a welcome from Professor Calista McBride, chair of the English and Humanities Department.
President Dr. Skip Sullivan, who is retiring in June, read a poem titled, “Retirement” by Anne Bronte. To show their appreciation for his continued support of the campus poetry readings over the years, members of the English and Humanities Department paid tribute to Sullivan during the event.
Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Kathleen Casey followed with a reading of “See it Through” by Edgar Albert Guest, which begins, “When you’re up against a trouble, / Meet it squarely, face to face.” Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, then read some very funny COVID-related limericks.
As for the students, some read poems in memory of grandparents. Other poems, forthcoming in the spring 2021 issue of Ergo, included a poem called “Izzy” by alumna Mary Hribar, celebrating her first grandchild. Assistant Professor Dr. Travis Matteson concluded the night with a reading of Emily Dickinson’s “’Hope’ is the Thing with Feathers.”
Matteson described the event as “an evening of reflection and encouragement.”
“The overarching tone of the event was one of encouragement and expectancy – for graduations, academic achievements, summer vacation, and even births! We are also very hopeful that we will be able to gather in person for the fall poetry reading.”