Students engage in poetry reading


On Tuesday night, Richard Robbins, a poet from southern California, recited poetry from his new book, “Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems.”

Robbins is an author with five books published and is an award-winning poet.

Jack Heflin, an English professor at ULM, invited Richard Robbins to read his poetry to students and professors and to speak to his students in his creative writing class. 

“We like to bring writers to campus every semester, really to support our creative writing program,” Heflin commented.

Many students attended the poetry reading, and most students had never been to a poetry reading before.

Tony Hill, a junior secondary education major, shared that it was his first time attending a poetry reading.

Vanelis Rivera, an English instructor, said, “Not many of the people that attended the show had been to a poetry reading, which speaks to the need for exposing the campus to more events like that.”

Robbins had many different pieces of works that he recited, which were personal experiences and meaningful memories from his childhood and adult life. Before each poem, Robbins would comment on the personal experiences that inspired him to form the poem.

“One of the best aspects of the reading, besides the poems read were the anecdotes behind the poem. I love that he connected stories to the development of each piece,” Rivera remarked.

One of the poems Robbins shared was “The Odds,” which was about a man who is negative about everything in his life. Robbins commented that it was a humorous poem of a man he knew that was always negative about everything. 

“I worked with a guy that was the most negative person. To him, if the sky was blue, it wasn’t blue enough or if you said hello, you didn’t say hello enthusiastically enough,” Robbins stated.

Because of Robbins anecdotes in his poetry, Rivera is hoping more students will be inspired to write their thoughts.

“Students should be encouraged to write more, especially when going through hardship, just for the sheer peace of mind,” Rivera said.

According to Heflin, Sara Henning, a poet from Nacogdoches, Texas, will be coming to ULM for a poetry reading on Feb. 20.