Student finds outlet for expression through poetry
You would’ve thought it was the lunch rush. The crowd was swelling, each chair was filled and the atmosphere was brimming with excited conversation.
However, the darkening sky outside and the sound of washing dishes emanating from a back room were the only things that gave away it was near closing time at Café Plaid on Campus Corner.
The reason for the late-night ruckus: The OU Write Club was hosting its first Poetry Slam. And Samantha Wafer was stepping up to the microphone to deliver her poem.
Melodie Lettkeman, The Oklahoma Daily
Sooner recites poetry
“It’s always a really exciting experience,” said Wafer, who finished third in the slam. “I’ve been doing live poetry readings for about three years now and still love it.”
Wafer, multidisciplinary senior, has been expressing herself through the written art form since her early teenage years growing up in Lawton.
“I was definitely one of those frustrated teens growing up,” Wafer said. “But when I turned 13, I started writing and discovered it to be this great personal outlet for me.”
Although Wafer initially was consumed with expressing herself through her words, she said her poems have developed and matured as she has grown up.
“When I started out in poetry, during those anxious teenage years, it was all centered on me and how I was feeling,” Wafer said. “But as I grew in poetry and grew up as a person, especially here at OU, my poems became more outward focused and influenced by all the people I was meeting here with different backgrounds, stories and issues.”
With many of her poems focusing on social justice and awareness of issues such as rape and domestic abuse, Wafer has been sought out by different organizations on campus to perform her writings for their various events.
“Thematically a lot of my poems deal with focuses that some university organizations and departments have. For instance, I’ve read some of my work for the Women’s Outreach Center on campus,” Wafer said.
Wafer, who has tentative plans to attend law school in the fall, hopes to continue her poetry in more ways than just writing and reading.
“Regardless of what I do, I think poetry will always be my passion. But I am reluctant to turn this freeing art form into some kind of business,” Wafer said. “What I have thought about though, is starting up some kind of workshop for young students to open up the possibility for them to express themselves through creative writing like poetry.”
Wafer explained how having a creative writing program could be a great outlet for students.
“I remember coming up through the school system, and there wasn’t really any kind of program like that. And there definitely were issues that I could’ve learned to express and address during that time through writing,” Wafer said. “I just think kids would find a great outlet out of it and even come to really enjoy the power poetry has.”