Poetry Club Adviser Tristan Striker Energizes and Supports Student Poets

Striker (left) poses with student poets after the Benton Center Word Mob

On Thursday at half past noon, the poetry club rolled their chairs into a half circle in room IA 242. As a club member finished reading one of their original poems, the room responded with snaps, jazz hands, and nodding heads. Tristan Striker, poetry club adviser, was the first to deliver praise to the budding artist.

“You had really nice alliteration,” he said to the student, “And your pacing was fantastic.”

Born in the Netherlands, Striker completed his undergraduate in New Hampshire, which he represented proudly with his Patriots branded socks and beanie. He completed his post-graduate studies in New York, and moved to Corvallis when he was given an opportunity at a full time teaching position at LBCC.

“I do a lot of reading, I mean it’s kind of my job,” said Striker. When he’s not critiquing his student’s work he enjoys reading and writing poetry, his favorite poets including Billy Collins, Benjamin Glen, and Saul Williams. He also enjoys exploring local cuisine with his partner, or exercising.

Despite only having been an instructor at LBCC since the Fall of 2018, Striker has wasted no time in getting himself and his students involved in club activities and participating in LB events. He recently hosted a viewing of the film “Bessie” in the DAC for the Black History Month film series, and helped facilitate the #BlackGirlMagic essay contest with Dr. Ramycia McGhee and previous essay lauriat Alena Santos.

“I met Tristan during his interview, he was extra talkative, really energetic – definitely a delight,” said McGhee, recalling her first and lasting impressions of Striker. “I have two students in one of my classes that are in poetry club who absolutely love it.”

One of these students is Kel Callaghan, who only recently joined the club at the beginning of Winter term.

“As a facilitator he is very proactive, very thorough,” said Callaghan. “Tristan brings such an air of acceptance, he has so much empathy. It really shows. He really cares about poetry, and people being able to express themselves.”

Striker has encouraged all students, not just club members, to submit their poetry to be displayed on a growing poetry wall in North Santiam Hall. Amid the talent and beauty of the student pieces, a small printed poem written by Striker stands out, a reference to his love of exercise and an almost painful allegory of his efforts.

A student stood amid the young poets and read a new poem aloud for the first time. After more validating snaps and nodding heads, a familiar voice rang from the back.

“That was beautiful,” Striker said, “I can’t wait to hear more from you.”

Gym Rat

by: Tristan Striker

Each pulse is harnessed desperation,

Each push is acid, and the spaces

Where pain and panic singe sinews

And tear what hold me together

Until I bend the metal back in place.

I exhale my effort out, my

Manufactured anxiety escapes

Into air thick with the pain

Of others.


Name: Tristan Striker

Contact: striket@linnbenton.edu

Claim to Fame: LB English instructor and Poetry Club adviser

Roles and Responsibilities: Poetry Club adviser and English Faculty

Classes: Early American Literature, English Composition, Intro to College Writing

Story by: Caleb Barber