The Xi chapter of the Hermandad de Sigma lota Alpha, Incorporada sorority teamed up with the Phi lota Alpha fraternity to bring the ninth annual poetry reading and cultural showcase called Letras con Sazon to campus on November 26 in the Tilles Center Atrium. The event showcased students reading original poems as well as professional poets such as Bonafide Rojas, featured on season four of Def Poetry Jam, a show on HBO that showcases up and coming poets, and Peggy Robles-Alvarado, a recipient of the 2012 Mujeres Destacadas Award, an award created by the online magazine La Opinion to award the accomplishments of Latinas in the Los Angeles area. The event started at 7:30 p.m. and was hosted by Nuyorican poet Papo Swiggity. In total, five students read along with the two professionals.
The event was an outlet for students to come and express themselves and their creativity. “I saw the flyers around campus about how they wanted [readers],” said Simone Medley, a senior psychology major. Medley was one of the presenters and said the event sparked her interest because poetry has been a hobby of hers for so long. “I have been writing for 11 or 12 years… I write about whatever I’m feeling.”
“Stephanie told me to come and spread the gospel,” said another presenter, Jeremiah Ariles, an undeclared major freshman. “I like to write about the Bible…but more down to earth, more involved in what I go through. It is what I believe in, what I do.”
“This event is to bring poetry awareness [to the campus]. It seems to be overlooked but it is an important form of art,” commented the sorority’s community service chairperson Stephanie De La Cruz. “Our sorority is always working to improve cultural awareness on campus.” The two main poets, both of whom were Latino, recited original poems. The event was for everyone regardless of background to enjoy
“[Letras con Sazon] deals with stuff people can relate to,” added Michelle Seke, secretary of the sorority.
This is the second time the sorority and fraternity teamed up to do this social event. “It is deep rooted in traditions,” said Phi lota Alpha president Gilbert Martinez. “Our founders showcased underground poets to put on a great show. It is a great way to keep students inspired and entertained.”