Poets gather monthly

Most students know of Grounds Coffee Haus located in basement of the Student Lounge, but many do not know that on every third Sunday of the month it turns into a theatre for poets.

Broadside Lotus Press hosts a poetry-writing workshop where young writers meet to discuss published poets and even their own work.

The free workshop is 3-5:30 p.m. and open to the public.

Dudley Randall, the late founder of Broadside Press, was a poet and also a librarian at the university.

He began the press in 1965 during a time when African-American poets had difficulty seeing their works recognized.

The press offered a way for black writers to publish their work.

“We (Africans in the United States) are a nation of 22 million souls,” said Randall in a 1970 article published in the Black Academy Review. “Larger than Athens in the age of Pericles or England in the age of Elizabeth. There is no reason why we should not create and support a literature which will be to our own nation what those literatures were to theirs.”

Now called Broadside Lotus, the press has published many literary works over the past 52 years, including “Ballad of Birmingham” (1965), “From Plan to Planet” (1973) and “Ms. Brooks’ Report from Part One” (1971).

“We are so grateful that Grounds and the school allow us to meet on campus,” said English professor Rosemary Weatherston. “It is a great opportunity for writers in the area to meet and discuss their own work with other poets. We also have open mic, where people choose to share something that they find inspirational.”