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Mag Gabbert Delivers Captivating Poetry Presentation

Poet helps students craft original works.
Graphic Courtesy of LitFest Committee

Mag Gabbert’s interactive presentation introduced students to the joys of poetry.

Gabbert is an American poet and essayist best known for her book titled “Sex Depression Animals” and her poetry chapbooks “The Breakup” and “Minml Poems.”

Gabbert began her presentation by discussing how a writer can craft a poem. She read examples from two contrasting poems and engaged the audience in academic discussion. We dove into craftsmanship, literary techniques and the importance of adding your voice to each sentence of a poem. Gabbert asked open-ended questions, going into detail about the concepts behind each poem.

Her presentation was very interactive, and in the second half, she helped us craft our own original poems. We initiated this process by selecting a personal topic and choosing a word relating each of the five senses to our idea. She then prompted the class to share our words, if comfortable, and build upon them as a group.

Gabbert provided her own example and then we began constructing part of our final poems. She emphasized that this was a working draft. Gabbert said we didn’t have to feel pressure to complete the poem, and instead, we should just let the words come naturally. This relieved much of the stress on my shoulders as I began my writing process.

In under ten minutes, everyone in the class had finished their drafts and we compared them as a group. The poems in the class brought out the characteristics of the people who wrote them. A blend of our words, mixed with the poetry techniques that Gabbert taught us, made for very authentic writing.

This interactive process differed from other presentations I attended, and allowed all of us to experience our own creation and creativity, which I really valued.

Gabbert had a captivating presence and an ability to keep the audience engaged, especially through her tone of voice and charismatic personality. I appreciated her sense of humor which made the usually dragging class period dissipate in what felt like minutes. Gabbert skipped all the gloating of her own accomplishments and instead dove straight into the core of her presentation.

Overall, I feel as though Gabbert’s presentation was a perfect fit for me. She was a remarkable speaker and poet, whose work truly inspired me. I will most definitely be ordering a copy of her newest book and I urge you to as well. After just hearing a sample of her writing, I can’t wait for more.

About the Contributor
Rohan Portteus
Rohan Portteus, Reporter
Who are your favorite music artists?  Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple, Fleetwood Mac Where's the next place on your travel bucket list and why?  Thailand to visit the elephant rehab centers. What causes are you passionate about? Gender inequalities.