Foothill @ CGU: A Stepping Stone for Poets

(light music) – Foothill is a graduate
student run journal that’s based here at CGU. We only publish graduate
students from around the world which is very exciting. We are, as far as we know, the
only journal that does that. – And I think the idea was
not only are we are here at Foothill Boulevard right, but also because the journal
was kind of envisioned as a way to give graduate
students that stepping stone, to try to reach that next level. – What’s really special
about it is some of the poets that we’ve published early on, have gone on to really have a place in the contemporary poetry landscape. – We’re always really excited
when we get someone who’s not on a MFA program, who
isn’t an English student, who really has a very unique perspective and still needs words, the
liquid words of poetry right, that can be framed in various ways to address what they need to say. – As a graduate university
there are many MA students who are only two years. Right? So they come in, we get
them their second semester, and then they’re with us for a year. So we are always looking for
new voices and new members. – We’ve got a ton of
English folks of course, but we’ve got a lot of
philosophy and history and so we’re always trying
to reach out outside of the English department, to get a multiplicity of voices. – We often meet on Friday’s. It’s a little bit in the evening. – Our meetings are a
mixture of kind of rag tag and sophistication in tone probably. – Essentially what you get to
do is meet with your friends, on a Friday night, have a
beer, and talk about poetry, which to me sounds like what
I would be doing anyway. – We show up with some
snacks, with some drinks, and for a few hours kind
of hash through the packet and see if there’s anything of merit, and get in some friendly
arguments along the way, and that’s really how we usually
spend our time at Foothill. – We get a packet of about
20 poems, sometimes 30, and we grade them on a
scale of one to four. – We come to that consensus
with a lot of cajoling and trying to kind of win
somebody over to your perspective so we have sometimes some very
passionate pleas for certain entries so that can be very
frustrating and very exciting. But at the end of the meeting, we’re all still friendly
about it, even if we disagree. – My favorite kinds of poems that we read are poems that are all over the spectrum. Somebody’s giving it a one,
somebody’s giving it a four, there are a couple twos, a
couple threes here and there and through a conversation,
which sometimes lasts more than half an hour, we are able to pull apart
a poem in a way that really illuminates it
for us and completely, in some cases, changes our mind about it. And those are the moments I
really think are my favorite about Foothill and are just so meaningful, and at the end of that Friday
night meeting you leave and you feel like you’re
walking on cloud nine. – One of the biggest
supports that we get from CGU is our association with the Tufts program, because we’re able to
combine with that program to put on some really amazing events. Our poets get to rub shoulders
with some more adept, published, established poets. – The way that we use language and the power that exists in words is important no matter what
you’re saying and no matter what you’re thinking about. Poetry reminds us how
powerful those words can be. It reminds us how dangerous
those words can be. – I think poetry, if it’s
good poetry, is true. And I think especially probably right now, what is true is being called
into question in so many ways, for so many different types of people, and so I think poetry is a really good way of not only remembering but
maybe discovering what’s true. – We are available at [email protected] You can also find us a That is where we live online. Submission guidelines
and past issues and you can actually listen to some
of the poets read as well. (calm music)

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