On Feb. 14, students gathered in the Bottle Hill Room for an Open Mic event that celebrated Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and the works of FDU alum H. Lloyd Weston.
The event, organized by Katie Singer, featured a poetry reading from Weston. He read from his new book, “Many Silences of Love: Contemporary Love Poems.”
Before Weston began the reading with his poem, “Be My Valentine,” he said, “Love comes in so many forms and guises.”
Weston also read a selection of short love poems including, “Hi-Tech Love,” a poem about modern-day romances, “Because I Love You,” and “To Be in Love.”
According to the Editorial Review on Amazon.com, “Many Silences of Love: Contemporary Love Poems” is “a compelling new collection of poetry that brilliantly captures the subtleties and heartbreaks of love in our digital age.”
Weston’s book combines old-fashioned literary passion with modern-day humor to create a bubbly book, perfect for his Valentine’s Day reading at FDU.
Weston’s readings of his poetry reflect the passion in his book.
“As you can tell, he really enjoys what he is doing. It’s really inspiring,” said Singer. “It’s so clear Mr. Weston has a story he wants to tell us.”
Weston graduated from FDU in 1974 and began experimenting with the written word and contemporary expressionist art.
Before his success a writer, Weston was an established painter.
His paintings of New York and his native Jamaican landscapes have been displayed in galleries all over the world, from New York to London and from Tokyo to the walls of FDU.
Weston’s work even landed him the opportunity of a lifetime in 1989, when he presented one of his paintings to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, at Grosvenor House in London, according to Weston’s website.
Following the Open Mic event, Weston was available for a quick book signing.
Working within the theme of Black History Month, as well as Valentine’s Day, FDU students were given the opportunity to read their own works of poetry, or the work of other artists, to celebrate African-American history.
Students read the poetry of famous African-American poets such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Maya Angelou, in addition to others.
African-American music was also a large part of the day, with one student sharing the song, “Black Butterfly,” by Deniece Williams, and another student’s reading of Notorious B.I.G. lyrics.
There were also passionate readings of student poetry that touched themes of love, the taming of a girl’s hair and heart, and what it is like to grow up African-American.