On Oct. 26 at the University of Saskatchewan, the soft words of spoken poetry will drift down the stairs from Louis’ Loft where the English department, English Course Council and English Undergraduate Society will host an evening of vinyl listening and conversation at their Vinyl Night.
The English department boasts a large collection of vinyl recordings of poetry, prose and dramatic works, including content by William Shakespeare, e. e. cummings, Margaret Atwood, Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe. The event is intended to attract members of the campus community who are interested in literature and vinyl or those who may be listening for the first time.
Stefan Draskic, EUS event co-ordinator and fifth-year English honours student, explains the major catalyst for the event.
“We had to part with a lot of records, and putting this event on was a simple and effective solution,” Draskic said.
Throughout the evening, the vinyl will be on display and available for purchase. Final prices have not yet been chosen, but all of the records will be affordable for students. The evening will also feature special selections of literature that will be played in the background.
The event will run from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and all members of the campus community are invited, including graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, faculty, staff and emeriti. Food will be available and guests are welcome to purchase drinks from Louis’ Loft.
The Vinyl Night is a combined effort of the English department, the EUS, a student-led club for those interested in English-related studies that provides resources, social events and networking opportunities, and the ECC, an English graduate student group that represents and creates events for its members.
Draskic believes that events like this enrich the university community.
“I think any event that brings together the university community is important. Having a common interest to talk about and enjoy is a great way to meet new people during your university experience, no matter what year you are in,” Draskic said.
He hopes that guests will experiment with new literature at the event and perhaps find something that they may not have listened to before.
“I really hope that people listen to something they aren’t familiar with and find that they enjoy it,” Draskic said. “There is always a lot of excitement involved when you are able to expand people’s horizons when it comes to a preference of literature.”
During the week prior to the event, invitees will have the chance to vote in an online poll on which pieces they feel deserve to make the top 10 collection that will be spun that evening. In addition to the top 10 pieces played for casual listening, a few guests, at the request of the English department, will speak to the audience about their favourite works.
The event will also offer a lounge area at the back of the Loft for guests who want a more introspective and solitary listening experience.
Draskic encourages students to attend the event and celebrate English studies at the U of S.
“In my honest opinion, I think people should attend because literature matters. What is even more important is coming together at events like these, and making that a statement for the U of S community. Humanities are often overlooked, and attending is just another way to come and say English is important.”
All those who plan to attend the event should RSVP to Ann Martin, English professor and undergraduate chair of the English department, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about the event can be found on the EUS Facebook page.
Graphic: Lewis Scott