Rhyme time at Word Soup


Michael Pacheco

Word Soup, an annual faculty poetry reading, is being supported by the music department this year, with a few students and Dr. Dyne Eifertsen.

The arts encompass not only drawings and paintings, but also music and the written word.

In this year’s edition of American River College’s annual faculty literary reading, Word Soup, poetry, pictures, and music combine to create a unique experience.

Hosted by ARC English professors Traci Gourdine and Harold Schneider in Fine and Applied Arts 547 April 24, 12:15 p.m., Word Soup started off as a side project for Schneider when he taught at University of California, Davis.

He then brought it to ARC, where he has held it annually.

“When I held it at Davis, I called it ‘Word Soup’ since it took place during lunch time,” Schneider said. “Then I brought it to ARC where I have been holding it for over 20 years, and it always involved faculty.”

The theme this year is “Love and Desire.” The topics covered include a circle of emotions such as celebration, desire, relationships, loss and renewal.

Nearly all of the works read are poems written by Gourdine and Schneider.

To provide atmosphere, improvised background music is performed by professor Dyne Eifertsen on trombone and music majors Dominique Salazar-Turner on bass guitar and Eli Aksenko on drums.

“I wanted to do something that involves the other arts on campus,” says Eifertsen, “and having done spoken word acts before, I spoke to the dean of English and was told that some faculty will be interested in reading poetry with music in the background.”

“Words are music and music are words,” says Gourdine, “so I think there is a nice blend.”

Given the subject matter, the poems themselves ranged from serious, such as “Solo,” by Gourdine, to just outright hilarious, like Schneider’s 15 haiku about breasts.

The attendance for the event was very high. This may be due to being hosted in the music department rather than in Raef Hall, as in previous years. The audience comprised of mostly English and music majors, and professors.