By Kelly Cannon
Standing in front of an audience of peers and a few faculty members, students read excerpts of their own creative writing. Ranging from poetry to creative non-fiction, the tone of the pieces changed from cringing humor to somber realism. In the second Open Mic Night hosted by the English Club, students had the chance to present their work to a receptive audience.
While the newly established club meets every Tuesday, the last Tuesday of every month is Open Mic Night. The night usually opens with a member of the faculty reading some of their own creative work. On Nov. 29, Dr. Karin Anderson read pieces of creative non-fiction, a genre based on telling true stories from one’s own life. Anderson’s work focused on her own son, as well as the experience she had when she met up with an old friend after her divorce. While Anderson’s work is prose, the pieces she read had a lyric quality to them.
After Anderson, students got up to read their own work. One student, senior Sterling Gray, also presented his own creative non-fiction work, reading two stories from a series entitled, “Going with the Flow: Being a Confused Boy in the Midst of Menstruating Women.” The audience both laughed and cringed in delight as Gray related his memories of discovering what tampons were and having a conversation about Kodex commercials with his first girlfriend. “I tend to see myself as a storyteller,” Gray said. “I approach it as if I were standing in front of people.”
While Open Mic Night is the most popular event, the other meetings focus on helping students develop their writing. “The purpose of the club is to provide an opportunity to share work and improve their writing,” said Ammon Medina, the president of the English club. “It’s a chance to read your work to people and get feedback from those who are genuinely interested in helping you.”
Most of the members of the club have had their work published in either “Touchstones” or “Warp & Weave,” the two creative writing journals produced by students in the English department. Medina encourages students interested in being published in these journals to come workshop their pieces before submission. “It’s a great tool to get into ‘Touchstones’ or ‘Warp & Weave,’” Medina said. “We have people who have gotten into ‘Touchstones’ or ‘Warp & Weave’ so why not use them?”