The crisp February morning fog settled in as Baylie Raddon, an english major at Pasadena City College, began preparing for the long day ahead. Thirty miles stood between Pasadena and her house in Rancho Cucamonga. It should have been a forty minute commute but the 210 freeway was in a traffic jam, as expected. It was the beginning of the 2019 Spring semester and everyone was scrambling to find their place.
Raddon has been working at the writing center for about ten months now. When Raddon started working there, she mentioned her poetry and other people overheard her speaking about it. They felt the same way as she did about wanting a space where fellow creative writers could meet. Inspired by one of her poetry classes, she took it upon herself to join people together, people who are looking for a safe and creative space, thus the Poet Writes Society was born.
“I know that a lot of creatives struggle finding that space,” said Raddon. “I felt like I needed people to be able to give me feedback, people that I trusted, and I wanted to help other people too.”
The Poets Writes Society has given students the opportunity to expand their skills and publish their work online and in zines.
“I didn’t always classify myself as a writer because there’s a lot of stigma that surrounds it,” said Raddon. “I had a lot of pressure when I was younger to be a smart academic person but not a creative.”
It started off that she couldn’t even share her poetry out loud. It had to be something that was completely private to her. She now feels more comfortable with sharing her poetry out loud because it’s a serious challenge to her. She is also more drawn to written poetry. In high school, she was an artist experimenting with drawing and painting.
“It’s definitely an art form. I liked making it look a certain way and playing with the line breaks to make it visually satisfying,” said Raddon.
She has also travelled to Florence, Italy with the study abroad program at PCC and says that it gave her confidence in her writing. Bailey is currently working on writing a poetry book this semester.
The Poet Writes Society meets on Tuesdays in room C-307 from noon to 1:00 pm.