Student-driven Writers House event an engine for expression

On March 31, residents of Writers House, led by sophomore Mike Roff, channeled their respective ingenuities into collaborating to form "Perspective Engines," which took place in Sturges Auditorium.

The evening of arts and expression kicked off with an original poem, delivered in chief organizer Roff's charismatic baritone. A member of the Seneca Hall council, Roff was instrumental in the creation, advertisement and overall execution of Perspective Engines. Roff's casual introduction set the tone for a comfortable atmosphere, and his poem, "Chained," opened a vein for visceral expression.

Following his act, Katherine Russell, fellow sophomore and Seneca Hall council member, tried her hand at performance poetry and impressed with solid writing and a deep subject.

Acts such as the Geneseo Winterguard, a group of three who synchronized a visually appealing flag-rifle-sabre routine, and a bluesy musical duo introduced as "Iris" added variety to the event, while more well-known Geneseo acts including English professor Tom Greenfield and Geneseo Slam Poet team members Deb Bertlesman and Ingamar Ramirez, both juniors, drew crowds and accolades.

Greenfield's expert guitar-playing and "Geno"-centric lyrics, such as those in "The SOFI Song," and "Free Wi-Fi," made him an immediate hit, but he showed a different side by finishing out his set with a touching song about memory and growing older, entitled "Vaguely."

Bertlesman, assistant resident director of Writers House, demonstrated her authority of the stage and creative leadership by beginning her portion of the night with a brand new, highly personal, humorous and demanding poem about relationships. She also recited a more familiar, but this time finely-tuned and charged, poem entitled "Corset." Ramirez also showed off his expertise on the stage in a group piece with Bertlesman, "Atlas," as well as a few short poems and a new, softer, more delicate piece.

The evening progressed with a thoroughly excellent line-up featuring stand-out performances by the Swing Dance Club, sophomore Colleen Farrell and a flawless duet by senior violinist Anna Mellace and sophomore cellist Sara Wigderson.

While each of the acts was striking, the act of creating such a venue as Perspective Engines itself was what clearly stole the show. Smooth organization and brief but well-filled time slots kept things light and moving quickly. The event, inspired and organized by creative students who live together in Seneca Hall, was definitely a nod to Writers House and the merits of such standards in residential living.

Each attendee's cover charge of $5 and additional donations from the event will go toward the creation of a house publication, Catharsis.