Book burning and racism spotlight of UnBurning Swamp event Monday

Georgia Southern students had the opportunity to read poetry and essays at an open mic Monday afternoon. 

Davon Johnson

STATESBORO — The writing and linguistics department at Georgia Southern University hosted the Unburning Swamp Open-Mic at the Newton Amphitheatre Monday afternoon as part of the National Week on Writing.

The event represented the defense of freedom of speech in the voices of unrepresented authors and other people in the country. Students were able to read pieces of their own work of poetry or excerpts of other authors work.

The poetry and short stories discussed topics from depression, racism and the book burning incident that took place earlier this month.

Keegan Woods, a junior film production major and creative writing minor, had some strong words in his speech about the event that happened on the book burning situation.

“I promise I will always stand by you in times like these,” Woods said in his poem. “When I say ‘Hail Southern’, I mean the institution that has brought me some of the greatest people that I will probably ever know, so just because you burnt some pages does not mean the fire is going to go out.”

The poems were met with cheers and applause from the crowd.

After the event, students had the chance to express their thoughts on the poems and short stories.

“It scared me and something like this should scare people because burning books is like a scare tactic,” senior English major Clayton Grant said.

Woods expressed how he wants people to start viewing the university after the event concluded.

“The events that happened last week are not indicative of what this university means to a lot of people,” Woods said. “ There are some good people here and I want to show that to America who thinks that we are the worst people on Earth.”

National Week on Writing will host a panel on Wednesday at the Parker College of Business Building at 6:30, in room 1107.

Davon Johnson, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]