Vol I. No. 2 (May 2003)

Feature Article: Spoken Word Event for Admit Week

On Friday, April 25, the Stanford Writing Center hosted an Open Mic reading for prospective first-year students visiting the campus on Admit Weekend. The array of talented writers participating in the event included lecturers in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, peer writing tutors, and a number of "pro-fros." PWR Lecturer Kevin DiPirro adopted an Irish brogue so thick and musical that listeners scratched their heads and pondered his true provenance. Kevin transported his audience to Ireland as he shared an excerpt from his monologue "Through Shite to Shannon."

PWR Lecturer Kevin DiPirro entertaining the audience

"It's all good!" chanted the approving crowd that served as Mark Otuteye's chorus as the peer tutor celebrated family love in an ode to his parents and siblings.

PWR undergraduate Mark Otuteye reading from his work

Otuteye's "What the Hell Do You Think The Stanford Admit Letter Said??" roused the audience to cheers, resonating particularly forcefully with the pro-fros, newly acquainted with the Admit letter and the range of responses it can evoke in one's peers.

Declaiming in rhymed couplets, peer tutor Amelia Ashton offered a sage and unsparing "insider's guide" to life on the Farm, while Sydney Schaub, peer writing tutor coordinator, concluded her soulful readings on the bittersweet moments that are part of college life with the bright, ready assurance, "I love Stanford. Really!"

Carolyn Ross also impressed the audience with a moving story about an encounter between the narrator and a young girl at a bus station.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the generous and enthusiastic participation of the visiting pro-fros carried the day: reading from stories and poems whose fresh imagery and graceful cadences lingered in the afternoon air, the new Admits alerted listeners to the rich promise of the Class of 2007 and the prospect of many rewarding Open Mic sessions to come.

By Wendy Goldberg

PWR lecturer Carolyn Ross reading from her fiction