Thursday nights offer a special tradition for creative writers on Stetson University's campus.

For two decades, those who appreciate the language arts have come out at night to listen or to perform poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and music. But in recent years, Poetry at an Uncouth Hour has attracted the digital and fine arts community to share the experience.

Old friends, new acquaintances, and vaguely familiar classmates come together as students and faculty share their talents.

Whatever the genre, new talent is revealed; old talent is revered. Whether the experienced reader shines in the spotlight or the first-time performer squirms with anxiety, the crowd supports and appreciates each effort.

For approximately an hour or more each week, writers of all ages and interests share their interests in creativity.

Poetry at an Uncouth Hours happens every Thursday night. It is Stetson's informal open-microphone event.

Poetry at an Uncouth Hour meets in Nightlites, on the second floor of the Carlton Union Building, above the Bookstore.

Students meet at 9:00 p.m. and officially begin at 9:15 after refreshments and socializing. Every first Thursday of the month is VIP Guest Speaker Night and every last Thursday is Screening Night.

Themes have included Laugh Night, Catharsis Night, Mystery Guest Night, and seasonal events. The themes guide the readings and performances as well as provide a stimulus for writing ideas.

First-year to senior students of all majors come out to meet other students, to be entertained, and even to participate. Students typically share poetry, prose, and music of their own or of someone else's. However, any "act" is welcome.

Poetry at an Uncouth Hour is informal. Students come and go at will. They may choose to read or to perform, or they may just listen, relax, and soak in the atmosphere of a free-spirited creative community.

Poetry at an Uncouth Hour is sponsored by Stetson's student literary magazine, Touchstone

© 2003 Stetson University English Department