Group to sponsor poetry slam to raise funds for African mission trip


The judges have spoken. Local writers have been selected to compete in the categories of poetry, prose and freestyle to perform and compete at “They Only Come Out at Night” at 8 p.m. tonight at the Dusty Bookshelf in Aggieville.

The competition will feature local writers reading their own work for cash prizes. A panel of judges picked writers for each category at tryouts Wednesday and Thursday night.

“When I heard about it, I was like, ‘That’s really cool,'” said Paul Cook, junior in landscape design, who plans to attend the event. “It seems like something that wouldn’t normally be in Manhattan; it’s something that’s a little more interesting, more exciting. It’s something different and it seems like it will be a fun experience.”

Print:Relief, a group of K-State students hosting the event – which they refer to as a “literary rock show” – will provide free coffee and snacks throughout the evening, said Matthew Schuler, senior in electronic media production. Group members will also be selling fresh baked goods, a published book of poetry written by young people from Manhattan, artistic photographs, CDs and T-shirts printed on site.

All proceeds will go toward Print:Relief’s up-coming trip to Miso, South Africa, a slum near Capetown where they will start a T-shirt printing shop and teach locals graphic design. Members of Print:Relief said their Christian faith is the reason they want to spend their summer in Miso.

“Christ was the example of the best way to live life – the most wholly connected to God – and he was all about being around people that others ignored,” said Stephanie Sharp, recent graduate of Manhattan Christian College and member of Print:Relief. “He was all about seeing the heart of people – the hurt and pain – as well as their needs.”

Members of Print:Relief said they are optimistic they can help the people of Miso, despite the extreme poverty of the area.

“It’s a pretty fascinating place, but the people are incredibly friendly; they’re open to people and they’re open to change,” said Caitlin Wetherilt, junior in graphic design at K-State and cross-cultural ministries at Manhattan Christian College. “There’s really a lot of hope there and I’ve already seen All Nations [a non-profit organization based in Africa] do a lot of good things in that community.”

Cover charge for “They Only Come Out at Night” is $5. For more information, visit

“People will love to experience other people’s views and emotions through their poetry; it reveals a creative side that they wouldn’t portray in [daily life],” said Laura Morsman, junior in fine arts, who plans to attend the event.