By Shannon Mooney
“I’m going to give you some husbands,” said poet Kim Roberts when she stepped up to the mic at Tuesday night’s TerPoets. Roberts, one of the event’s featured writers, read pieces from her “Imaginary Husband” series and a few of her new poems.
The night, hosted by senior Brendan Edward Kennedy, consisted of 11 poetry readings and two musical performances. The small audience allowed for a friendly and casual atmosphere.
Sophomore Jonah Potasznik read a creative essay about his dead grandfather. Potasznik, who sometimes hosts TerPoets, explained that there is a difference between hosting and reading.
“Reading is a little bit of a gut check,” he said. “And with hosting you have to play around a little bit.”
After a brief intermission, the features of the night were introduced. The first, Jesse Freeman, is currently part of the MFA program in creative writing at this university.
Freeman read an excerpt from his short story titled “Good Snakes and Bad Snakes,” which is included in his thesis. In a soft-spoken tone, he read anecdotes about his adolescence, mentioning his first crush and his experiences being bullied. The story had the audience captivated and received a few laughs.
Roberts then read five poems from her book “Animal Magnetism,” which featured her “Imaginary Husband” series. Most poems began with “my imaginary husband” and continued to describe different men.
“I didn’t realize I was writing a series until it seemed like I couldn’t stop myself,” Roberts said when an audience member asked why she wanted to write the series.
The next poem Roberts read titled “Hearing Loss” talked about her deaf mother. The piece was an interesting form; it was divided into two sections and each line from the first section was included in the second, but in a different order.
At the end of the night, Freeman and Roberts answered questions from the audience. Freeman was able to further discuss his thesis.
“It’s an opportunity to have a formal discussion about what you’re trying to do,” he said.
Roberts, who also co-edits the web exhibit D.C. Writers’ Homes, explained how the project has had an effect on her writing. She said that she enjoys literature that is strongly based in place.
“Setting, when done well, becomes like another character,” she said.