County Poet Laureate speaks at SPU

Yesterday about 50 faculty and students gathered in the Student Union Building Fireside Room to celebrate the capstone event of Black History Month, hosted by the Student Union Board (STUB), the Office of Student Programs and the Office of Academic Affairs. The event consisted of a presentation by King County’s Poet Laureate Mona Lake Jones.

Jones described her work as "poetry that celebrates culture with an emphasis on understanding and presenting African-American Culture."

Students said they were drawn to the presentation for different reasons.

"I was really excited to hear [the presentation] just as a wrap-up to Black History Month," Latreia Coordinator Erin Willett said. "She (Jones) seems like an incredible speaker."

Willett attends the African-American cadre.

"This was an interesting way to see how the stuff we talk about [in cadre] functions in Seattle today," Willett said.

The event kicked off with a jazz and blues composition by sophomore Josh Byeman.

"We wanted kind of a jazzy introduction for the presentation to give people an idea of what’s in store for them with the poetry reading," STUB Coordinator Dan Beutler said.

The music set the tone of the event as Jones spoke, sang and even danced a little as she addressed cultural issues such as skin color, cuisine and Christianity.

Her speech was presented in a mix of prose punctuated by free-style poetry.

The poetry portions of the talk were presented in rhyming verse and accentuated her message that diversity should be celebrated, not just tolerated.

Jones’s message was recognized by faculty members.

"[Her] poetry celebrates life," Assistant Director of Student Programs for Intercultural Affairs Joe Snell said in his introduction to the event.

The presentation was followed by a reception, where food and publications by Jones were available. These publications included two sequential books entitled "The Color of Culture" and a CD featuring some of her poetry with musical accompaniment by local musician Micheal Powers.

Jones commented on the connection of music and poetry in her work.

"Often when I present my poetry, people say it sounds like music," Jones said in her presentation. "The combination of [the two] seemed natural."

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Title: County Poet Laureate speaks at SPU | Author: Jade Nirvana Ingmire | Section: News | Published Date: 2002-03-06 | Internal ID: 2557