Athens is an art and music hub, but one art form that is less appreciated among the other forms of art is poetry. One opportunity for students to share their poetry work is with The F Word Performers. 

The F Word Performers are a poetry and performance art group on campus. 

“It’s a very inviting space,” Connor Beeman, president of The F Word, said. “Literally anyone can come. We have people of all majors.”

Beeman, a junior studying creative writing and women’s gender and sexuality studies, joined the group his freshman year. Not only did he enjoy the outlet it provided for his writing, but also the atmosphere of the organization. 

“I personally came back because I had built a community with people,” he said. “Every week, we’re talking about our lives and blowing off steam and venting and bonding.”

Beeman said in the past, the group pitched itself as a group for ex-theater kids — an outlet for those who want to be involved in performance art in college.

Beeman loves the opportunity the F Word provides to share his work. It isn’t too high-pressure to be unenjoyable, but a worthwhile cause nonetheless.

“(The F Word) has been an amazing platform to meet fellow artists and a space to perform,” Beeman said. “It isn’t too intense, and it’s rewarding.” 

Beeman also enjoyed participating in F Word shows. The F Word Performers have one show a semester, usually between midterms and finals. Each show is themed off of one word or concept.

“Each show is a unique experience for me,” Beeman said. “They’re all different. Sometimes shows are interactive.” 

F Word shows are in Studio C in the Radio and Television Building. For Beeman, the venue makes for a special experience. 

“Studio C is very minimalist and stripped down,” he explained. “Our audiences are a smaller group so it makes for an intimate experience where people can connect with performers.” 

DeMarius Rodgers, a senior studying integrated social studies, has been in the F Word for about three and a half years. To him, the best parts have been performing and bonding with fellow members.

Though Rodgers is only performing two original pieces in this semester’s F Word show, the show is more than just poetry. 

“It’s definitely a variety show,” Rodgers said. 

This semester’s show, Inferno, is themed around the seven deadly sins. Each piece will be themed on one of the sins. The Inferno show has poetry, stand-up and even music. 

“This semester’s show will be a spectacle,” Harmony Renn, vice president of The F Word, said. 

To Renn, a junior studying creative writing and women’s gender and sexuality studies, The F Word represents a space to make art and be free of rules or regulations. 

“I get to do what I want with people who are supportive of that,” Renn added. 

The F Word has changed since its inception. The group initially started out as a feminist poetry group — hence the ‘F’ — but now is all-inclusive in types of performance, themes and people.

“The F Word originally meant ‘feminism,’ but over the years it’s changed, and now it just stands for anything you want,” Renn explained.

Renn joined the F Word after attending a show with Beeman. She ended up loving the group and its performance aspect. 

“I love the drama of it,” she said.

For Renn, writing creatively is a way to vent her frustrations with life. 

“[My creative process] usually starts when I’m angry or irritated,” she said. “It starts with some convoluted metaphor and then I write poems.”

All members of The F Word will perform an individual, original piece at the show. 

Inferno is on Nov. 16, doors open at 7 p.m. The show is in Studio C, room 515 in the Radio Television Building. Admission is free and all donations go to Planned Parenthood. 

@_kerijohnson

kj153517@ohio.edu

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