Club Highlight: Audacity

      Eastern prides itself on being a community of acceptance, where everyone can find their niche. This is true even among their many clubs. Audacity is a spoken word club that meets on Thursday nights at 7:30PM  in Howard Center Room 105. Spoken word, by definition, is poetry intended for performance. It is a poem written specifically to be performed orally for an audience rather than written on paper to be consumed individually. Spoken word is often about incredibly powerful emotions, events, and ideas of the speaker. Thus, the mission statement of the club is “Empowered to speak logos,” logos being the Greek word for “word.” They are a club dedicated to empowering students through the intricacies of poetic language. Eli Echavarria, one of the leaders of the club, describes the club as a “community of writers, poets, students who want to express themselves in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. You never have to share if you don’t want to, just come, sit and listen to poetry!”

      Upon arriving at a session, one of two styles of meetings will occur. In the first, there will be a prompt given by one of the two leaders, followed by a time of writing. During this time, one can either edit a poem they already have, or write a new poem based off of the prompt. Afterwards, those around the room share what they’ve written—if they feel like it. Audacity is a positive space, therefore, no one should ever fear rejection because of their opinions or work. The other session one can attend would be a revision session, in which you revise and edit the poems written based off the prompt the week before.

      People from all walks of life attend the meetings and join Audacity for different reasons. For example, Eli explained that he joined because he was “bold enough to let someone else read my journal. They encouraged me to share the things I had written because, ‘you never know whose life you may change.’”

      Kerry Phillips, a freshman on the soccer team, stated that she joined because she “had heard spoken word videos on Youtube and was drawn to them. I also recited my own poetry at my church and I knew I wanted to continue to do so. I joined Audacity and it is amazing to hear what words and phrases people are speaking and thinking. Their messages come alive and speak to the soul, gripping onto it and soaking everything in. It’s a beautiful thing.”

      Through these two different members, it is easy to see how different people from different circles can come together, in this open place, and create powerful poetry.

      Based on this, Audacity fits well with the school’s mission of faith, reason, and justice. Eli claimed that “Eastern advertises itself as a university that is Christian, however, it is home to so much more than that. It is the birthplace of ideas, the playground of stories and great people. I think spoken word can help Eastern students have their ideas, stories, and greatness be recognized. Audacity is built upon faith, defended by reason, and is constantly advocating for justice.”

      To anyone looking for a place to find community, a warm atmosphere, and a space to safely share what’s in your heart, Audacity might be the place for you.

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