Blythe Baird reading at Brookdale.
Blythe Baird, award-winning Slam Poet, read from her recently published book of poems.

The Visiting Writers Series brought award-winning poets Seema Reza and Blythe Baird to Brookdale Community College on November 6.

“These poems are alive with joy, insight, criticism, and art,” Suzanne Parker, associate professor in the English department and director of the Visiting Writers series, said of Reza’s work. Reza, author of When the World Breaks Open and A Constellation of Half-Lives, read poems from both of her works.

“Creative writing saved my life,” said Reza. She explained she began college as a chemistry major at a community college but took a creative writing course for fun. “I was taking a chemistry class, a drawing class, and a creative writing class. I knew I needed to be a writer when I realized I was only a perfectionist when it came to the sentences I was writing for my creative writing course,” said Reza.

Picture of students with Seema Reza and Blythe Baird.
Student from the Creative Writing Club with poets Seema Reza and Blythe Baird as well as Suzanne Parker, director of the Visiting Writers Series.

Baird agreed that starting to write and create helped her as well. She said she began to write poetry when she first saw her mentor compete in a Slam Poetry competition. “I was so impressed. I didn’t know you could feel so deliberately. I wanted to make people feel as well,” said Baird.

“Her poems are both fierce and fearless,” Parker said of Baird’s poetry. “In them you find strength and courage,” said Parker.

The Dr. Carl Calendar Visiting Writers Series continues on December 12 at 11:45 in the Student Life Center with award-winning journalist, memoirist, playwright, and best-selling novelist Roger Rosenblatt. The event is free for Brookdale Community College students and $25 for community members. Advanced registration is required. For more information about the Visiting Writers Series or to register for the December event, please visit or call 732-224-2315.

Caption: Seema Reza shared her poetry at the Visiting Writers Series event on November 6th.