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Student poetry covers family, relationships and pregnancy

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Monica Rosas, a 2020 graduate of the University of La Verne, shares her original poetry and discusses how poetry gave her a voice at the second Spring Student Poetry Series reading April 16 via Zoom. Sean Bernard, professor of creative writing; Emma Garcia, junior creative writing and psychology major; Angela Thomson-Brenchley, adjunct professor of creative writing; Masa Shah, junior psychology major; and Hannah Cockash, junior creative writing major, applaud for Rosas as she finishes reading her poetry. / screenshot by Melody Blazauskas

Monica Rosas, a 2020 graduate of the University of La Verne, shares her original poetry and discusses how poetry gave her a voice at the second Spring Student Poetry Series reading April 16 via Zoom. Sean Bernard, professor of creative writing; Emma Garcia, junior creative writing and psychology major; Angela Thomson-Brenchley, adjunct professor of creative writing; Masa Shah, junior psychology major; and Hannah Cockash, junior creative writing major, applaud for Rosas as she finishes reading her poetry. / screenshot by Melody Blazauskas

Jonathan Garcia
Staff Writer

Monica Rosas, University of La Verne 2020 graduate, and Emma Garcia, junior creative writing and psychology major, were the featured poets for the Spring Student Poetry Series last Friday. 

The Zoom event, which was attended by 26 community members, was part of the series of virtual poetry readings sponsored by the creative writing program this academic year.

Rosas said that poetry helped her find ways to communicate her feelings. She said she plans on one day publishing a book of poetry and working in the education field.

“Articulating how I feel is something that I struggle with. I’m not the best with doing that and so I’ve always just gravitated towards writing more and then I discovered poetry.” Rosas said. “With poetry it was like you’re trying to explain and express so much emotion in such a short and structured way that it was a challenge for me, but I feel like it would help me learn to communicate how I feel.”

Rosas’s poems touched on her personal life and relationships with her family. Her poem “Dear dad it’s been one year” describes her relationship with her father, and “Dear Ashley”  describes her relationship with her sister she never met.

Her poems also touched on the emotions associated with love and loss. Her poem “I love you and your inability to love me” explores the feeling of loving someone who doesn’t love you back.

Her poem “Will I lose the memory of you” talks about her fear of losing someone close to her. Her final poem, “Where I find love for myself,” expressed self-love in an ode to her body.

Garcia’s poems touched on her feelings toward pregnancy.

Her poem “Gumball Machine” described her understanding of pregnancy that she had in elementary school, believing that once she hit a certain age she would automatically become pregnant represented by a gumball, learning later in middle school that she would need to insert a coin, a metaphor for being intimate with a partner, to become pregnant.

“I don’t have any desire to have children. It makes me sad because there are women out there who would like to but they can’t however I might be able to but I don’t want to,” Garcia said.

Her poem “I have what you need” was inspired by that sentiment, in which she talked about having what infertile women need.

Garcia said she hopes to publish a collection of poems and to write a young adult fiction novel.

Both poets wrote a collaboration poem “The hand that holds onto me,” which is based on the painting “Ascension.” The poem took about a month to write with both poets going back and forth with ideas.

“Our writing styles are very different so trying to find a way where they can come together as one and compliment each other was a challenge in itself,” Rosas said.

The poem was written from two different points of view with Rosas writing from the perspective of the woman and Garcia writing from the perspective of the cloth.

Sean Bernard, professor of creative writing, said the poetry reading series have been a positive community activity amid our remote lives. 

“It’s been really wonderful despite the pandemic to bring together current program students along with program graduates,” Bernard said. “It’s a fantastic way to keep the family going, keep the good spirits happening and see what our graduates have been up to.”

The recording of the reading can be viewed on the creative writing website. The next reading of the series is 2 p.m. April 30.

Jonathan Garcia can be reached at jonathan.garcia3@laverne.edu.

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