Poetry celebrated at IU South Bend

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By: CAMDEN CHAFFEE

Staff Writer

The poet Robert Frost once wrote, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” These words were proved to be true by Francesca Bell and Rachel Custer, who read their poems in Weikamp Hall Monday night, conveying strong emotions and passion and capturing their thoughts on current social and political issues.

Speaking of her poetry, Custer said, “there is too much dehumanization in our society. So I try to humanize people that usually aren’t.”

In her writing, Custer tackles subjects such as the opioid epidemic that has affected Indiana, abuse, and issues that are prevalent in the Midwest. Her Christian faith has also influenced her work.

Despite holding no middle school, high school or college degree, Francesca Bell, a Washington state native, has become nationally recognized for her work in poetry. She is particularly influenced by stories she has read about in the news.

After the reading, the two poets welcomed questions from the audience. One IUSB student asked Bell and Custer why they had chosen poetry.

“My husband doesn’t understand why I write poetry,” Bell said with a smile.

Custer added with a smile, “Poetry kind of chose me. If I could do anything else, I would. Literally anything else.”

After the Q & A, Bell and Custer signed their books.

In addition to Monday evening’s poetry reading, the English Club held its first poetry workshop Tuesday with a small group of students gathering to analyze and critique each other’s work.

More information can be found at https://titanatlas.iusb.edu/organization/englishclub.

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