As students continue to tackle exams and papers, the Glenn G. Bartle Library announced the opening of a secluded space designed to provide writers with an environment to think creatively.

The quiet hideaway, known as the Secret Poetry Room, is a medium-sized space located among the maze of bookshelves in Bartle Library. Inspiration for the room came from Molly Peacock ‘69, a poet and biographer who wanted to provide students with a “secret place” to write and organize their thoughts. As a first-generation student, Peacock remembered stumbling upon a hidden room deep within the library that provided a creative atmosphere for writing poetry. After learning that the room no longer exists, she embarked on a five-year campaign with the then-dean of libraries to recreate it.

Thanks to fundraising efforts by Peacock and others, the room is now open.

“Everybody who heard about [the Secret Poetry Room] loved it,” Peacock wrote in an email. “It was easy to raise money for because the idea of making space for students to write, both creative writing students and any other students or staff or faculty who had the urge to write a poem, was so appealing and so necessary. To provide for creativity is a necessary way of being human. After five campaigns, the room has materialized.”

The space’s design emulated upstate New York’s Arts and Crafts style and contains an ornate rug and two comfortable chairs designed to provide a relaxing environment for creative expression. A wooden coffee table with a potted white orchid flower lies between the two chairs. A sturdy, mahogany-colored desk provides students with a flat surface to concentrate on writing. Plastered on the walls are three separate quotes, two of which introduce the room as “a hideaway to THINK and WRITE” and explain why it was created. A third quote contains two lines from a poem written by Peacock decades ago.

“My hope for this space is for students to enjoy a moment of escape from the daily hustle and bustle and can draw inspiration from the warm environment,” Andrea Falcone, the dean of libraries, wrote. “Additionally, much like this secret poetry room was to [Peacock], I hope that students are able to find their own space in the libraries that means something to them, that inspires them to accomplish their goals.”

Other notable features in the room include various types of light fixtures. Several lamps and wall sconces placed throughout provide a warm glow for visitors to write or complete assignments. A picture of a blue and violet colored peacock — an ode to Peacock and her push for the room’s creation — hangs on the wall above the mahogany desk and doubles as a light source.

“The room was pretty good, [and] it had a nice feel,” Jack Creagh, a junior double-majoring in philosophy and Ancient Mediterranean studies, wrote. “The lighting was really nice too. You have the option to turn on the lamps instead of the terrible [LED] lights all over the school.”

The Secret Poetry Room’s opening comes as major renovations continue in Bartle Library. The library’s third floor has been closed to the public for over two years as construction continues to remove asbestos and “transform” the space to meet the students’ needs. A new floor layout will include more study spaces and a new space to house the University’s research print collections. Renovations are expected to be completed in 2025.

Alexandra Weber, a junior double-majoring in philosophy and cinema, described how the room’s layout creates an ideal environment to complete assignments.

“This particular space provides a perfect amount of privacy, tranquility and warmth, setting it apart from other areas on campus,” Weber wrote. “It will be the perfect spot to seek inspiration and reflect on creative projects.”