Iris: Art + Lit hosts fall Open Mic


Isabel Gisser

Sophomore Quinn Christensen reads her poem, “Drapable.”

“Zoonotic feline virus… mutated,” read club adviser Kathryn Campbell. The small group of girls gathered in the Summit Center shifted in their seats and settled in, prepared to listen. Once comfortably circled around open boxes of Halloween cupcakes and ginger snaps, they leaned forward to hear the rest of the story. Starting off the Iris: Art +Lit Open Mic with a whimsical story of her own creation, Campbell continued: “Viruses can last up to two weeks, with symptoms lasting an average of seven to ten days. Although there is no detailed catalog of the evolutionary relationships of viruses and hosts, certain general characterizations can be made. Day One…”

The open mic on Oct. 13 was built around the theme “Superstitions.”

The girls smiled and laughed quietly as Campbell told the story of Sarah, a seemingly normal woman with an abnormal disease, and her new cat, Pedigree. The two characters grow closer than ever expected as Sarah’s virus eventually turns her into a cat. “And she knew their next move was decided. When Pedigree turned, Hybrid followed her through the cat door into the yard, into the sunshine. Into the ever familiar, newly unfamiliar, world.” Campbell finished her story, met with smiles and applause in the form of quiet snaps.

Co-club leader Quinn Christensen followed the first story with a poem of her own, “Drapable,” which illustrates a collection of jealous thoughts. Her work too, was followed by smiles and appreciative snaps.

Closing the open cic, co-club leader Anna Snider shared a meaningful piece of her own, presenting it by memory: “I am learning the art of opening my mouth, teaching myself how to write with messy words. I don’t care if they’re sand, if they’ve sat under my tongue for far too many years. I am dying, existing only in the margins. I have a universe in my veins, I speak in fireworks, and I am going to take up space.”

Iris: Art + Lit hosts community events throughout the year. Listen the readings below on SoundCloud: