By Mary Kate Sheppard, Staff Writer –
On Thursday, February 13th, the day before the celebration of love, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga English Department and the Creative Writing faculty celebrated love, lust, and anti-love using poetry at the Rose and Whine Jam.
Everyone, not just English majors, were invited to attend this poetry slam with ‘Love’ as the central theme on February 13th in the T.C Ware Lounge of the McCallie building at UTC.
However, the subjects of the poetry slam were not just limited to love. In fact, two of the celebrated topics were lust and anti-love. Students and faculty were invited to indulge in the idea of love while also accepting the bashing of love in anti-love poems.
The venue was adorned with V-Day themed decorations, and pink and red heart-shaped snacks were provided. One such snack was a cookie cake with the phrase “Love Sucks” written in red icing.
The highlight of the night occurred when professors from all of UTC’s departments (not just the Creative Writing or English department) read some of their favorite poems from various authors as well as poems they had penned themselves. Some of the readers included, but were not limited to, Earl Bragg, Rick Jackson, and Andrew Najberg.
In addition, students were also able to write poems about love, lust, or anti-love in a game designed to highlight the students’ talents.
Each participant was given two words completely unrelated to love and were challenged to incorporate the given words into their poems. For example, some of the words were bacon, mathematics, dishrag, and butterfly.
Sophomore Zephany Goldman, an English Literature major, came to the Rose and Whine Jam because she noticed posters and thought it would be interesting.
“I loved being able to write poems on the spot,” she said. “It was kinda tense because of the competition, but I felt comfortable being in a space where poetry was a highlighted topic.”
“It was exciting to be able to talk to students who are also interested in poetry,” Goldman said. “It makes me appreciate the English major in the space that we were in.”
Rick Jackson, a Creative Writing professor at UTC and key Rose and Whine Jam organizer, noted that it was a great success.
“Our purpose was to have fun and show that writing love poems, or anything in general, isn’t just for English majors,” Jackson said. “Maybe this was promotional to persuade some people to pick up an English minor or take an English class, but we really wanted to get a group of people together under a common theme.”
The Rose and Whine Jam was a perfect opportunity for students and faculty to come together to talk about roses or whine about past loves. Some of the prizes for the poetry competition included books about love, gift cards for one, and BeanBoozled because, as Carrie Meadows said, “Love can leave a bad taste in your mouth.”