Social Media Editor Cate Casalme reviews On The Rocks’ poetry-centric event.

My only experience with poetry readings is from my TV — with Freddie Prinze Jr awkwardly watching Rachael Leigh Cook as she performs an over the top interpretive dance/spoken word performance in She’s All That. I half expect a dark room, with one bar stool and a microphone under a spotlight, and possibly fog. However, Poetry OTR proves to be the antithesis of such an event.

Walking into Sandy’s, I’m the twentieth person in the room with an ever growing line behind me. To be quite honest, I’m lucky to have even managed a seat. With the room at full capacity and the audience buzzing with excitement, the event is completely informal and without the pretentiousness one would associate with a poetry reading.

Whilst there were some readings of poetry by Plath and T.S. Eliot, the real spotlight of the event was the student poetry (each written and performed by Crews, Spunner, Rocha, Lacroix, Camia, Hutson, Herman, Jay, Brunner, Westfall, Winfrey, and McCullough). Poetry On The Rocks encouraged poets to open up and discuss topics that were close to them, from break-ups to the loss of a family member. Performed in one of the warmest audiences I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of, students were cheered on stage by an engaged and enthusiastic audience.

There were many St. Andrews inspired poems- from west sands to the St. Andrew’s Crushes page. However, my personal favourite would have to be the St. Andrews gossip inspired poem. A hilarious journey of how one St. Andrew’s secret is quickly spread. Poetry On The Rocks knows not to take itself too seriously, and with what is probably the perfect ending for the night, a solemn reading of “Cynthia” from 22 Jump Street was performed.

I would rate Poetry OTR as a truly successful event. Perfect for anyone, from poetry enthusiasts to part-time poets or even to those who just want to check it out, Poetry OTR was the highlight of my own personal On the Rocks festival experience and I hope to see it again in next year’s festival.