Poetry in Motion

Posted By: Will Koppenhaver
Posted On: November 16th, 2016
Attending: Ulster University

“It can be the smallest thing

that brings you back to basics

and pulses the interconnected”


First stanza from Matthew Rice’s poem, “The Smallest Thing”


            I recently had the opportunity to attend a poetry reading in Belfast with a new friend of mine, Matthew Rice.  Matthew is an up and coming published poet from the local Belfast area and it just so happens that I had made a connection with him before I even arrived here.  His father, another well-published poet, is a doctoral student studying under my own father at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.  I was introduced to Matthew before arriving via Facebook and we connected in person about a week ago to attend a poetry reading that he was going to be a part of. 

When we pulled up in the taxi to the small school where the reading was, there were no lights, signs, or people to tell us where to go.  We walked around for a bit before finding a someone else who seemed to know where they were going and pointed us in the right direction.  Matthew’s comments to this experience were, “This is kind of like a lot of places in Belfast.  You don’t really know where something is until you actually find it.”  This small comment brought me to think of something that I’ll discuss in a moment. 

The poetry reading itself was excellent.  Many local poets as well as poets from abroad came to this small school to read their own works or the works of others that they favored.  It was great to see how everyone had such a passion for their work.  The reading ended and everyone went to a local pub for a drink.  Even though the reading was over, everyone still couldn’t help but share more thoughts on favorite poems, writers, and anything else that related to their passion for literature.  This made me think about my second reason to share this in one of my blogs.

Today, I coached a group of boys from a local high school called Abbey College.  I went over pick and rolls with them and the ways that they can use them for offensive success.  This group of boys had a wide range of ages within it and different skill sets because of this too.  Some of the older boys picked it up quickly while the younger ones struggled at first.  After practicing for a bit, the boys began to get better and better at it to the point where it looked natural.  Success doesn’t always have to be a giant leap; it can often be found in the smallest thing.  You don’t really see talent at first because a lot of times you have to work at it.  This was my first connection with what Matthew had mentioned to me earlier.  Sometimes you never know if you are getting through to kids until you actually get there.  The second part of the coaching session reminded me of Matthew and the other poets.  While the boys are not the most skilled, they still have a strong passion for basketball and that is what is important.  If I can get their passion for sport to transfer over to a passion for school and personal goals, then that would be the real success.  It would be poetry in motion.  #CoachingGoals

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