Glossolalia kicked off the new school year with an open mic night at She-Sha Café and Hookah Lounge on Thursday, September 22nd from 9-11 pm.
Glossolalia officers Forrest Rike and Paul Veracka announced readers as both undergraduate students and graduate students shared their writing. Though Glossy (as the event is affectionately called) is a literary festival held in the spring, various open mic nights are held throughout the year to cultivate the appreciation of student writing here at Virginia Tech.
Students read flash fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose, and performed spoken word. Given 5-7 minutes to speak, many of the writers read more than one piece, giving the audience a better sample of their voice and preferred genre. Relevant issues were prevalent in many of the pieces, such as race relations, pressures by society to conform, alienation, love and friendship, and ideal moments in time. Abstract concepts offered a reprieve from reality as the crowd listened intently, focusing on each word.
The small but mighty café and lounge was packed from wall to wall on Thursday as regulars, students, locals, and friends of the readers arrived throughout the night. Though there was little wiggle room, the audience was respectful and quiet for those standing up at the mic. As the sign-up sheet was passed around, several people not expecting to read courageously stepped up to share work from class and off their head.
The beautiful thing about Glossolalia is that it gives students the opportunity and encouragement to share their work, not only at the actual event in the spring, but at these open mic events as well. Feeling validation as a writer at a technical engineering school is not always easy, but knowing that there is a community willing to listen builds a sense of comradery amongst the writers here.