“Pizza, Pajamas, and Poetry”
“You’ve got to stop getting out of bed like you’re an oil spill, stop acting like an accident Rudy, you’re not an accident, Rudy!”
Those were the words from the poem “17” by Rudy Francisco, the Guest Speaker of the event “Pizza, Pajamas, and Poetry”. It’s one of the many lines from his poetry set that ignited the crowd at 7 p.m., on November 14 in the Javelina Engagement Center.
He is a well-known poet from San Diego, California.
“I was mentored by some pretty awesome people,” Francisco said.
He made the choice of being a poet full-time and has not regretted it since.
He was invited to be the guest speaker at the event because the Campus Activities Board (CAB) members heard him perform and liked his work.
“We found him at a conference in Baltimore,” said Delanie Slifka, the president of CAB.
He is among the top poets within “Spoken Word Poetry” organization.
“I think we have this perception that you can’t do poetry full-time, you actually can do it, and you don’t have to be a starving artist,” said Francisco.
In his time, he has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award and has won two popular poetry slam competitions.
Aside from his accomplishments, he gives back to other poets to be successful.
“I have coached seven poetry slam teams,” said Francisco.
He has four books on the market now and one being released later in November of 2017. If interested, he is open for booking on campuses and events sponsored by organizations and can be contacted on his website.
“I go to about sixty events a year and I came in today, flew into Austin and drove down,” said Francisco.
The “Pizza, Pajamas and Poetry” event is the only event of its kind at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK).
“The event has a coffeehouse feel and chill vibe, we want everyone to be comfortable and engage at the moment,” said Loreal Robertson, the Coordinator of CAB at TAMUK.
The event was organized and sponsored by the CAB organization.
“We put on most of the events around campus, our goal is to put on diverse events,” said Delanie.
CAB got the idea of this event from a conference a few years ago.
“This is something we were missing on our campus, we’ve never done anything like this and we want to bring in diverse people,” said Delanie.
At the conference, CAB realized other organizations and universities had events like “Spoken Word Poetry” on their campuses. They decided that TAMUK should too.
“Pizza, Pajamas, and Poetry” has been hosted for a few years now,” said Robertson.
Every semester CAB organizes the event and brings in a new guest speaker to read their poetry. They always plan on a large crowd and try to keep their activities interesting.
“The events they put on are fun,” said Jessica Montenegro, a graduate student majoring in Guidance and Counseling at TAMUK.
The event is typically hosted in the Javelina Engagement Center.
“I’m going to the event on campus because it’s unique, poetry interest me, so I was intrigued to go,” said Jessica.
Many Greek Life organizations were present and there to give a listening ear along with others who are interested in poetry.
“There are three fraternities and two sororities coming,” said Jessica prior to the event.
There was no end time on the flyer for the event. The reason behind that was CAB planned to stick around until the guest speaker was ready to conclude.
“Students often relate to these intimate stories, I think it’s important for students to hear the vulnerability of another,” said Robertson.