She sat still in her car, silent and in shock after witnessing the burial of her best friend. She remembered the white morning glory flowers on the grave, and she remembered how on her way home, a field blossomed in white, reminding the now poet, Victoria Prescott, that her friend was still with her. That moment was Prescott’s call to poetry.
Local poet Prescott performed Wednesday at a poetry slam hosted by Spitshine, an organization that provides safe spaces for students on campus. Prescott performed her poems “gold” and “home” which focused on embracing her identity and her Arab heritage.
“I started writing poetry a few years ago since I had a lot of trauma, especially after my best friend in high school passed away,” Prescott said. “I also was moving into a time where I didn’t know what being Lebanese or Syrian meant because I’m very white passing. I lived in a neighborhood that was super diverse, but there were not many Arab people so I was attempting to process all of that.”
Prescott said she advises students to jump into their aspirations as a poet because it can help them learn to appreciate their writing.
“Just write it and do it,” Prescott said. “The quicker you jump in there, the faster you’ll like something you write.”
Mah-ro Khan, Spitshine co-president and biology junior said it’s interesting to see the work of other poets and how they’re able to reveal different sides of themselves.
“Victoria is of Lebanese heritage and she writes about that a lot, a common theme in her work,” Khan said. “Right now we’ve really been focusing on community and being a safe space just because of recent situations.”
Jasmine Bell, Spitshine co-president and psychology senior, said Spitshine hopes to develop a safe space for students to talk about themselves through poetry and enable rising poets to develop their work.
“We want our community of poets to center around marginalized voices,” Bell said. “To anyone who’s racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic etcetera, they need to not. Just be quiet because this isn’t the place.”
Prescott said community is very important when it comes to poetry.
“There’s no poetry without community,” Prescott said. “I think if you have someone to share that struggle with, that process with, that growing with, community grows even stronger.”