Dead Poets Society builds community through art of poetry


Collegian | Reiley Costa

Izabelle Hood, president of the Dead Poets Society Club, shares a poem during their meeting in the Willard O. Eddy Hall April 18.

Ali Niaz

Sulaiman Akbar, Staff Reporter

The Colorado State University Dead Poets Society is a great place for people looking for a creative club. It is an organization created for people who want to share their ideas and expressions through poetry at CSU.

CSU Dead Poets Society is an inclusive club for expressing each individual’s thoughts in an artistic way through listening and sharing. The organization has been revived by CSU English Honors student and current club president Izabelle Hood after it was shut down during COVID-19.


“Dead Poets Society is open-ended,” said Kailey Almquist, a member of the Dead Poets Society. “Members can interpret each week’s theme in their own way, as no theme is strict or confining.”

Sharing genuine expressions and emotions between each member to generate community and inclusivity has created immense value for this organization.

“I feel like Dead Poets Society really values honest expression,” said Aidan Chesemore, a writer and English student at CSU.

“Some of the things that it values most is that connection and vulnerability — the idea of being yourself and being able to be heard and to have something to share,” said Claire Roen, the club vice president.

Inspired by the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society” starring Robin Williams, the club has a sense of community that allows every member to feel comfortable participating. The meetings entail workshops and feedback from peers on poetry written by club members.

“It’s been so impactful in my college career just finding the place that accepts me and having a sense of community that is so specific and so niche.” –Claire Roen, CSU Dead Poets Society vice president

“It forms connections really well and it kind of brings about that sense of community that is, I think, really necessary for any organization to function well,” Roen said.

Members can share anything they feel is poetry including published poems, poetic movie monologues, humorous song lyrics, silly poems and personal poems, all of which are written by students.

“Sometimes members will bring in poems that are partially related to the theme or perhaps bring in a poem that isn’t directly related to the theme but reminds them of it in a more personal way,” Almquist said.

Being an English major or creative writing major isn’t a requirement; everyone is more than welcome join.


“We share ideas for the unheard voices of students, not only English majors but also (students) from other majors,” Hood said. 

The club meets weekly in Willard O. Eddy Hall, and the time and day depends on the member’s schedules each semester.

The club provides a unique and special way for CSU students to meet and engage with each other through the powerful medium of poetry.

“Poetry is kind of one of those things that is not necessarily the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a college organization, and it is something that is so personal and vulnerable,” Roen said.

Poetry allows people to be heard in a vulnerable, unique way, which can be daunting; however, CSU Dead Poets Society makes sure everyone feels comfortable and safe in the environment, Roen said.

Hood said it challenges the students to think deeper as young writers as it encourages them to steer away from perfection and stay truthful to the world.

“It’s been so impactful in my college career just finding the place that accepts me and having a sense of community that is so specific and so niche,” Roen said. “It is really an amazing place that has provided that place for me to be accepted, heard and valued as a member of the CSU community.”

Reach Sulaiman Akbar at or on Twitter @CSUcollegian.