Judas Goat proves not to be a cult, but turned out to be an open mic night

Sean Dunn, Reporter

With a title like the “Judas Goat,” one might think Wayne State College students are contributing their time to some sort of uncouth cult. However, the only thing students paid tribute to last Wednesday was the arts of writing and literature. Students and faculty attended the “Judas Goat” Open Mic night held at the Birch Room Chophouse on Feb. 6 to enjoy some dinner and share some of their writings.

The event was held in honor of the “Judas Goat,” a student-published anthology of poems, fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork. Publication student Elijah Herrington led the effort to organize the “Judas Goat” and the open mic night.

“We’re currently receiving lots of submissions and the students in the publishing office are working with lots of ideas for the layout of the publication,” Herrington said. “I think there is much to be excited about with this year’s edition of the Judas Goat. With the growing interest of new students and community members, I’m looking forward to getting this magazine off the press and into the hands of eager readers.”

In previous years, the open mic event took place at The Coffee Shoppe and more recently the Blue Cat Gallery & Studio. The new venue chosen for this year’s open mic took place at the Birch Room Chophouse. The readings at the event drew in some familiar faces, like WSC senior Christina Coffman, who read at the event.

“I like to write about things I know, about my experiences,” Coffman said. “I wrote some quick little things before I went out and only intended on reading if absolutely necessary. I was going to read something about my aunt that passed away over the summer, but I ended up reading something about a lame dude who hurt my feelings.”

The event attracted some new listeners as well.

“The Judas Goat open mic provided a really chill atmosphere for students to share their art,” sophomore Libby Dunn said. “Though I didn’t read any of my own work, I was given the reassurance that I wouldn’t have been judged if I had. I really enjoyed listening to the pure talent of fellow students and Wayne community members. It was an entertaining way to spend what would have been a boring Wednesday night.”

The open mic night wasn’t exclusive only to poetry and literature; some attendees decided to play music as well as share their pieces of artwork.

“Performing music live is a lot of things for me. It’s anxiety inducing, exciting, and raw, really raw,” said senior Christel Wiggan, who sang and played guitar at the event. “For me, it’s different than performing poetry because it’s more pressure. When I play a song, I have to worry about getting the chords right and my guitar being in tune, along with if people can hear what I’m singing and then if they can feel what I’m singing.”

Despite being a student-driven project, the faculty of Wayne State College and the WSC Press have also shown involvement and enjoyment in both the “Judas Goat” and the open mic night.

“[The open mic night] gives the students the opportunity to read their stuff in a warm and welcoming atmosphere,” WSC Professor and Press Head Chad Christensen said. “The editing students who put on the open mic try to make it their own, which keeps it fresh and interesting. It can also get a little weird, which also makes it fun.”

For being a great medium for artists to display their work, the “Judas Goat” has its fans, like WSC Graduate Assistant Sharon Cole.

“I’ve been attending and involved with Judas Goat since roughly fall of 2013, and I’ve grown to love the Goat and all of the shenanigans involved: spreading word about the Goat’s existence, hosting open mics and crafting the finished Goaty goodness,” Cole said. “One thing that is consistent at all the open mics is the great crowd of people you get to share your work with. Everyone is always so supportive and enthusiastic about each other’s work. It’s a great community to be a part of.”

For those who are interested in the “Judas Goat” they can visit the “Judas Goat” Facebook page or they can also visit the WSC Press website at wscpress.com. The submission deadline for the “Judas Goat” ends on Feb. 13 at midnight.

Elijah Herrington and Sharon Cole