Poetry at an Uncouth Hour has quite evolved from what it used to be. According to Terri Witek, the organization’s student advisor, editors and two poetry workshop students Peter Carver and Deise Feikema of Poetry at an Uncouth Hour used to meet up once a year back in Spring 1991 to work on the Touchstone magazine. Since Carver and Feikema were going to miss the workshop, they proposed for a reading and workshop night outside every Thursday at 10 pm. Witek says that this brought it “all kinds of people”. Music was put in along with numerous art performances.
Flash forward to 2011 and one will see the changes that overcame this organization. Yearly meetings are now weekly on Thursday nights at 9 in Night Lights. Students who work on Touchstone get a paid position as well.
When asked what exactly Poetry at an Uncouth Hour does, Michael Ezra Keith, the co-editor, replied that the club is “low key, informal” and meets to read both original poetry and poetry from other poets. Prose, fiction, and short stories are read as well.
Through Poetry at an Uncouth Hour, students can “explore different areas of art” says Keith, who plays ukulele and bass guitar for the club. Keith says that he wants to “keep added interest in poetry” and that although students tend to go out Thursday nights, members of Poetry at an Uncouth Hour try to “keep it lively”. Keith adds, “It’s really exciting to be part of this because it’s been done for so long and I’m happy to contribute to Poetry at an Uncouth Hour in any way I can.” When asked if the organization is the longest weekly poetry reading in the nation, Keith replied, “As far as we know…we never encountered another organization who has done this for longer.”
In fact, Poetry at an Uncouth Hour celebrated its 20th anniversary this Thursday, March 24. Witek expressed her hope for alumni club members to come celebrate and shared a memory an alumni wrote to her about: Jeff Weakley, a 1995 graduate as well as the editor of FLORIDA SPORTSMAN, had his first date with his now wife Tiffany (a 1996 graduate) at Poetry at an Uncouth Hour. With the length of the club now, there’s no doubt that Poetry at an Uncouth Hour will continue to celebrate more anniversaries filled with memorable moments.