Literary Arts Festival Response

The Literary Arts Festival was something that I expected to not be entertaining, yet I expected it to be boring because it involves english. I think majority of people would think any event that deals with the subject english would be boring. I was wrong about my assumption that this festival was going to be boring. It turn out that the half an hour I spent there was exciting and I wanted to see more.

I was in the Namn building talking to a few friends and then I left because I was trying to get about half and hour of material covered by the Festival. The festival started at 5:30pm and my class started at 6pm so I was able to catch thirty minutes of observations in the Midway building of City Tech where the Literary Arts Festival took place. I normally have classes in the Midway building and when I entered, I was wondering what floor this event will be on because on the flyer it was not stated. I enter the wrong way of the Midway building to the auditorium then the security guard told me to head to the other door I was not familiar with. As I enter the unfamiliar door, the atmosphere felt good with everybody smiling and looking like they were happy to be there. Everybody smiling made me smile as well and the second thing that made me smile even more was seeing food. I was not greedy to get food as soon as I got there so I walked through the door that seem to have a crowd of 300 people sitting.

I sat down and wondered the whole time what was going to happen and how. As I looking around in my seat I just absorb everyone’s movement because their was nothing else to do until the event start and everybody was sitting. I remember this lady was walking pass all the rows including mine asking in a soft¬†voice if their were any award winning students. She wanted to know if they were sitting in the wrong spot so she can point them into the right direction probably. I also saw a security guard friend of mine who works at City Tech but did not bother to say hi because he was speaking to someone.

The Festival did not start exactly at 5:30pm because I believe that was the time to gather everyone before starting. My mind wondered more and more then finally at 6pm there was a video playing at the front of the auditorium. The video was very interesting and the first thing that came to my mind was Utopian/dystopian because the video editing made everything look so futuristic. It gave me a vibe that the society was uniform like the book called The Brave New World And The Brave New World Revisited. The video showed the outside of City Tech then my idea of them showing a utopian fiction changed. A little more into the video they showing the videographer recording different students from City Tech and asking them if they are excited about this year Literary Arts Festival. All the students had a sense of humor that made me laugh. This part of the video that I watch caught my interest and I wanted to see what was going to happen next but I decided to leave and head to class. Before I left the building I manage to get some free food.

A light to City Tech’s community

City Tech’s 33rd annual Literary Arts Festival was…different. ¬†When I first arrived to the festival, I was surprised to see that there was a bunch of people in attendance. ¬†I wasn’t expecting to see so many people there, especially being that I myself haven’t heard about the festival before it being announced in class.

The festival began with an introduction video taken by students of City Tech.  The students introduced a woman by the name of Caroline Hellman, who is one of the Literature professors that helped put together the festival and commended her for her work and dedication.  The night continued with literary and musical performances from City Tech alumni, including Rafeal Molina who graduated from City Tech in 2010, special guests including a poet by the name of Cornelius Eady (and his band), City Tech staff, and many others.

During the Literary Arts Festival there were some performances that stood out to me. ¬†There was a poem from a City Tech student by the name of Latoya Scarboro that I loved. ¬†The title of the poem is “Where I’m From.” ¬†I enjoyed this poem because it was personal. ¬†Latoya spoke about her journey through life. ¬†When she was younger she grew up in Bushwick, Brooklyn. ¬†After her mother passed away she ended up moving to Flatbush, Brooklyn. ¬†As a student of City Tech, she struggled with the battles of having two sons. ¬†One with autism and the other with Sickle Cell disease. ¬†This touched me because at the end of her poem she said that these obstacles have pushed her and motivates her to finish school and get her Bachelors degree. ¬†I don’t even know Latoya, and I was proud of her. ¬†I know the struggle of dealing with family members with Sickle Cell disease. ¬†I also know what it’s like to deal with an individual with Autism. ¬†Neither one of these diseases are easy to deal with. ¬†College itself is not easy to deal with, and yet Latoya continues to push herself to finish college.

The next performance that I enjoyed was the performance by Cornelius Eady and his band. ¬†I enjoyed his poems because they were more like the poems you would here at a poetry slam or a paint and poetry event. ¬†You can paint an image in your head while listening to Cornelius’s poems. ¬†When Cornelius spoke, the audience was silent.

Cornelius Eady performed poems with and without his band. ¬†One of the poems he recited that I enjoyed was named “Aretha Franklin’s Hat at the Inauguration.” ¬†I enjoyed this poem because it was comical in some ways with the references to Aretha’s hat to a “church hat” and “testimony hat.” ¬†These words put the image of my grandmother and all her friends in my head. ¬†These older women wear the craziest looking hats to church and some how think that the hats are attractive. ¬†I also enjoyed this poem because the poem itself was not only about Aretha Franklin’s hat at the Inauguration of President Obama, but the poem was basically all about Aretha and her music. ¬†The poems that Cornelius performed with his band were entertaining and unique, I have never heard poetry like that before.

I also learned about Cornelius Eady himself during the Literary Arts Festival.  I learned that Mr. Eady published 7 volumes of poetry called Hard Headed Weather.  Ealy also created a non for profit organization for African American poets.

If I had to sit through another Literary Arts Festival I would do it again. ¬†Even though it wasn’t completely what I expected it to be, it was worth my time. ¬†I’m glad to see that the students and staff of City Tech can come together and do something positive for the school and the community.

This Week: Two City Tech Literature Events (with Extra Credit Opportunities)!

As we discussed in class, there are two exciting events happening this week. I’ll be at both of them, and I hope to see many of you there!

I strongly encourage you to attend either (or both!) of these events, & to blog on our OpenLab site about them (you will get extra credit for your participation/response!):

1. Wednesday, 4/9, 11:30am-12:45pm, Namm 119, Literature Roundtable

The Spring 2014 Literature Roundtable is on Lynn Nottage’s play, Intimate Apparel. This event (sponsored by the English Department in conjunction with the African American Studies Department) includes student performers from AFR 1321: Black Theater, ENG 1121: English Composition II, and a conversation and discussion on Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel with Professor Jeannine Foster-McKelvia (African American Studies Adjunct Instructor) and Dr. Marta Effinger-Crichlow (Chair of African American Studies).

If you attend the event and blog in response (W 4/16), you will receive extra credit (it will replace a missing blog if you missed some blogs, and it will count as extra credit if already you did all of your blogs).

You can also read the play (it is short) for free, as an eBook, though the City Tech Library Website. If you read the play and blog in response, you can earn additional extra credit.


2. Thursday, 4/10, 5:30-7:30pm, 240 Jay Street (Midway Auditorium), Literary Arts Festival

This year is the 33rd annual Literary Arts Festival, and will feature guest speaker Cornelius Eady. The Festival is a long standing tradition that celebrates student writing and features a special guest author, along with student performances. This is an event to see and be seen.

***To keep up with the latest about the event and learn more, join the Festival OpenLab Project, and keep up with festival news via the Festival OpenLab site and by following @CityTechLitFest on Twitter.

If you attend the event and blog in response (Th 4/17), you will receive extra credit (it will replace a missing blog if you missed some blogs, and it will count as extra credit if already you did all of your blogs).


*There are only two grades for these extra credit blogs (100 and 0). If you attend the events and blog your responses/reflections completely (in terms of length and content) and thoughtfully, you will receive 100% (an ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ) for the assignment. If you do not turn in the assignment (or if it is too short/not fulfilling the purposes of the assignment), you will receive a ‚Äú0.‚ÄĚ Don’t forget to take notes at the events, so you can include concrete details from the events in your blogs.