By Lindsey McLemore | Reporter
Poets from around the world gathered Saturday to celebrate and promote change through spoken word. The Heart of Texas (HOT) Poets Society held “100 Thousand Poets for Change” at the Art Center of Waco, which was part of a larger global event taking place around the world.
Writers of all ages from around the state of Texas shared a wide variety of poetry styles in an open mic setting to address social, environmental and personal changes.
Catherine L’Herisson, former president and current treasurer of the Poetry Society of Texas, traveled to Waco from the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the event.
“I felt it was especially important for me to be in Waco for the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event because it is HOT Poets Society’s first meeting and will hopefully convince others to join so they can become chartered members of the Poetry Society of Texas,” L’Herisson said.
Poets delivered deeply personal accounts of loss, personal growth and social injustice which often resulted in a tearful audience.
Dr. Cassy Burleson, senior lecturer in Baylor’s journalism, public relations and new media department and Sandi Horton, co-founders of HOT Poets Society, welcomed members of poetry societies from around the state and encouraged writers to share their poems regardless of their experience.
One by one, poets stood and shared powerful messages of social and political unrest, cries for change in government and societal norms, and messages of finding solace and acceptance in changes within oneself.
“Talking about change is important because it’s something we all can relate to, and we can learn so much from each other just by listening,” Burleson said before reading one of the first poems she ever published. The poem was about political and social unrest in the Dallas area.
Horton is a member of the board of directors for the Waco Cultural Arts Fest and wants HOT Poets Society to be defined as a unifying poetry group.
“We want this group to be a place for all people ages 18 to 88 – give or take a few years, of course,” Horton said. “We want to have all kinds of people and poetry represented.”
Anyone interested in joining HOT Poets Society can find information about future meetings on its Facebook Page.