Smallest coffee house’ in East Hall elevator

Kate Snyder and Kate Snyder

Junior Ryan Naderer figured he would reach the most people if he read poetry in an elevator. ‘It’s where most of the English students and people would come through,’ he said. And along with free poems, students and professors going up or down in East Hall yesterday could enjoy free coffee. Naderer’s English class created the ‘world’s smallest coffee house’ in celebration of National Poetry Month. Members of the class signed up for reading shifts. Naderer started reading at 1 p.m. and was still going strong at 2:30 p.m. A cup sat next to him for donations for the University’s literary magazine, Prairie Margins, because in addition to celebrating poetry, the project was designed to spread the word about the magazine. ‘Two types of literature in the same tiny room,’ freshman R.J. Ingram said. Ingram worked with Naderer to gather volunteers from their class to read in shifts. They read Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot, and ‘just stuff people would know,’ Naderer said. He got a lot of confusion from passengers. He also got a lot of thank you’s. English instructor Jason Simon got on the elevator and didn’t go anywhere. ‘I’m actually gonna ride back down,’ Simon said. ‘I’m just here for the coffee.’ He wasn’t the only one. Naderer said someone refused to leave until he finished the poem. ‘He came back and made me read the whole thing,’ Naderer said. Freshman Kendra Werley also got off on her floor, then doubled back. ‘I want to hear the poetry,’ she said. Werley listened to Naderer read Ginsburg as she rode down again and back up. She said she’s never seen something like that before. ‘That’s a good idea, though,’ she said. ‘Elevators are really awkward. It gives you someone to talk to if you’re riding the elevator alone.’