Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Fourth annual ‘It Could Be Verse’ attracts UTSA readers and spectators

It could be verse-1edit

At a dinner event a few years ago, Creative Writing Professor Wendy Barker and Comparative Literature Professor Steven G. Kellman got to thinking: What would publicize the English department as well as promote literature?

The result – It Could Be Verse, a night of faculty and students getting together and reading poetry to an audience. On April 7, the English department hosted the fourth annual edition of It Could Be Verse in the Business Building.

“We were trying to think of ways of getting students and faculty together beyond the classroom and faculty together beyond the department meetings,” Doctor Barker said.

Some of the participants read from a book, others opted to use a printed copy of the poem and a few even chose to go paperless and recite from memory. Regardless of their preference, all of the participants delivered applause-worthy readings.

The event opened with a warm welcome from the event’s founding faculty members, followed by a poem read by Doctor Kellman regarding the topic of poets. The energy that Doctor Barker and Doctor Kellman brought to the room was maintained throughout the event as the volunteer readers kept the audience hanging on their every word.

Participants presented something unique with their individual readings, from using a particular accent to expressing meaning with their hands, tempo or speed. It was not just reading a poem from a piece of paper, but rather a full-fledged performance. The poems themselves were extremely varied, some just a few words and others quite lengthy, but all of them captivating. Some poems were recited in Italian or Spanish, which also added to the event’s ambience.

“We all love poems,” Doctor Barker said. “We all love hearing them read.”

Freshman English major Bianca Pulido signed up to participate at this year’s It Could Be Verse without knowing quite what to expect.

“It makes people happy,” Pulido said. “Even if it’s a depressing poem, it speaks to the human experience. A lot of this is human expression – it’s coming from our soul.”

This year a total of 26 people participated, and the number of audience members was rather large, too. This was not surprising, considering that both the readers and the spectators seemed to enjoy themselves.

“I think it gets better every year,” said Doctor Kellman. “I think tonight in particular we had a combination of fine poems, large variety and wonderful performances.”

It would seem that not only Doctor Kellman thinks the event was a success. “Everybody needs to come to this event. It needs to be huge,” Pulido said. “The English department needs events like this.”

Name That Author, another product of the dinner-turned-brainstorming-session, is a contest in which participants answer questions about English and American Literature and takes place during every fall semester. Check the English department’s homepage at to stay informed.

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