Soul Fire Brings Poetry to Tennessee State
By Leona Dunn
Meter Staff Writer
On Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in Room 103 in the Humanities building, you can hear all kinds of voices illuminating the halls with poetry. Soul Fire, a poetry workshop was started last year by five students after a day in Dr. Michelle Pinkard’s freshman English class. The group uses that day each week to meet up, hear and critique poetry.
“One day me and a couple of friends asked Dr. Pinkard if we could make a club where people could just come and write; we would create a safe environment for people to express themselves,” sophomore, founder and current secretary Alexis Johnson said. “We started towards the end of October (in 2014) with sign-up sheets in our dorms and flyers telling people about the meeting time and place.”
Pinkard teaches freshmen English, Black Arts and Literature, and has studied poetry composition in the past. She thought the idea was amazing and still sponsors the club. She gives out prompts for students to go home and write. Her helper, Tia Mitchell, is a spoken word mentor who helps the students learn different aspects of poetry. She critiques the students to help them both in writing and performance.
“Tia comes to us through a partnership with southern word,” Pinkard said.
Soul Fire has an executive board consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, design artist, three ambassadors and someone in charge of social media. Everyone has a specific purpose in the new effort to promote the club so students become aware of it and the Nashville community eventually learns of it.
“I’m really big on getting us out there, finding us opportunities to present, finding connections, and really just doing public relations,” senior and vice president Brandon Stepter said. “ I really appreciate what we do because I feel like we are about the actual poetry, more or so the writing then just the performance aspect.”
Soul Fire is planning to host its first event to let the school know that they are here and ready to be heard. On Nov. 12, Soul Fire will perform in the Forum.