Burning Swamp heats up in Statesboro

Davis Cobb

STATESBORO — The open-mic poetry and prose reading event Burning Swamp returns to Statesboro for another year.

The first Burning Swamp event of the semester will be on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at Eagle Creek Brewing Company.

The event, which started in 2013 as a more scheduled reading of pairings between a few faculty members and students, has grown and evolved over the years into the more communal and open reading session it is now, where everyone is encouraged and given the chance to read.

When the original version of Burning Swamp began to falter in 2015, writing professor Benjamin Drevlow decided to revive the series, working with fellow professor Christina Olson to mold it into the event it is today.

“In other creative writing communities, doesn’t really matter where you are, there tends to be a community open-mic reading series, a chance for everyone to get together and read from works in progress or just be able to have a platform for their work.” Olson said.

Though primarily hosted at Eagle Creek Brewing Company in downtown Statesboro, Burning Swamp has been held at a variety of locations around town, including Your Pie and the now-closed Deacon Blues.

Eagle Creek, however, was eventually selected as the main location due to its placement near the center of town and relative closeness to the university. Drevlow said he desired to host the event in order to promote a sense of community between the students and the locals.

Drevlow also hopes that the students involved, writing majors or not, will get together outside of the event and continue to share and read their works together.

“Whatever’s going on—if I’m tired, if I’m stressed, if I have too many papers to grade, or if I’m reading the news and it’s kind of depressing, I go there [to Burning Swamp] and hear the voices of these students putting themselves out there personally,” Drevlow said. “And I’m like: remember, this is why we do what we do, and this is why this matters.”

Burning Swamp will be held on the last Tuesday of every month, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Eagle Creek Brewing Company. The event is open to the public.

Davis Cobb, The George-Anne News Reporter, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu