TU SpeakOut takes on ‘Modern Romance’

Photo by Kayla Gross

Valentine’s Day might be over and done with, but love is still in the air. The campus poetry club, SpeakOut, held their first performance of the year last Thursday, titled Modern Romance. Before introducing the first act, the club’s fearless leader, Joey Howard, lightly joked, “We made the decision to call it Modern Romance after the Aziz Ansari allegations.”

The performances consisted of talented young poets sharing their experiences with love.  Some were very warm and heartfelt, while others talked about bitter breakups which often led the audience to cheer in praise.

Memoirs of an NYU Frat Party
Madison Plucknett
Dingy hallways and Broken banisters
A hover only toilet seat
Cigarettes with colorful filters
Smoked indoors and
Ashed on the floor
A slightly tipsy trip over a loose floorboard
A picture I don’t remember taking
Snapshot memories with distorted details
A hand I don’t remember holding
Wrapped in a kiss I never said no to
Followed by waking up in my own bed at noon the next day
Yesterday’s makeup on my pillow
Bruises beyond explanation
A hangover from hell
But I only had a few beers
But I’ve always been a lightweight
And anyway I must have walked home
So I showered
And I Rationalized because reality resisted me
And rationalizing was easier than admitting
It happened to Me Too.

Madison Plucknett was among the students who decided to twist around the meaning of modern romance around into a poem called, “Memoir of an NYU Frat Party.”

In this poem Plucknett gave the audience a disturbing look into what happens inside the party of a frat house.  This poem is incredibly well written and also very relevant in light of the #MeToo movement, which Plucknett refers to at the last line of her poem when she says, “it happened to Me Too”.

Plucknett was not the only student who cleverly redefined the modern romance.  First-year student Jordan Strousse performed his poem about the realities of relationships entitled, “Just Married”.  This poem peered into to the harsh realities of married life. What made Strousse’s poem stand out was his clever use and play on words throughout the poem and strong emphasis and drama weaved into each stanza. All in all, it was a depressing yet humorous take on modern romance.


All the students that performed for SpeakOut did an incredible job writing and performing their poetry. The theme of romance really played well throughout the performance space with the strong pink hue of lights, the big Grecian-style flower pots on either side of the microphone and the flowers spread out all over the floor.  Even the unexpected accompaniment of the orchestra practicing in the space directly above us added some drama to each performance. It was a beautiful show, and hopefully there will be more performances to come from SpeakOut in the near future.