Posts Tagged ‘Creative Writing’

ACU English Poets Break Into Print

0 Commentsby   |  01.24.11  |  Student Spotlight

Two of our English majors have had poems they wrote in last fall’s English 323: Poetry Workshop accepted for publication in in two different literary journals.

Juliana at Oxford's University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

A new print journal, Fjords, has accepted for publication in its inaugural issue “weeping willow” and “Highway 285” by Juliana KocsisFjords has solicited poetry from around the country and plans to nominate its very best poems for the annual Pushcart Prize.

Juliana says the composition of “weeping willow” came about when “I had been out running one day, ran by a willow tree, and immediately thought of what became the first stanza–it just seems appropriate/ sitting beneath you/ to weep. The rest of the poem developed on its own and turned out to be one of the easiest poems I’ve written (and one of my favorites).”

As for her “Highway 285” poem, Juliana developed the idea after driving  just outside of Salida, Colorado, past spectacular mountain landscapes. She notes that, “Having grown up in Colorado, I absolutely love it and have always just been amazed by some of the scenery, so I wanted to write a poem that captured that.”

It was a productive semester for Juliana because she just learned that Sphere Literary Magazine: An International Journal of Student Writing will be publishing another of her poems, “Liturgy, as witnessed by a statue of Mary.” Sphere is an on-line journal edited by students at Farleigh Dickinson University. Twice a year they publish undergraduate writing from around the globe.

Juliana wrote her Sphere poem after reading a news item about the bombing of a church in Baghdad back in November. She characterizes the poem as “a sort of lament” over the tragedy and a call for peace and religious tolerance.

Juliana is currently a junior English major and plans to graduate in May 2012. What she’ll do immediately following that momentous occasion is still a bit speculative, but she wouldn’t be surprised to find herself in graduate school working on an M.A. and thinking about maybe teaching postsecondary school. She’s also considering teaching ESL abroad for a year or two.

Bethany banging out the words...old school style

The other student who has had poems accepted for publication is Bethany Bradshaw. Her poems “Aubade” and “You Asked Me What It Means” will appear in Sphere.

Bethany, who is serving as one of the co-editors of the student literary magazine, The Shinnery Review  this year, will graduate in May. She is waiting for acceptance/rejection letters from MA programs in English Lit. “to decide my fate.”

As the teacher of both of these young poets last fall, Prof. Al Haley was contacted for this article. He wished to contribute the following:

“I’m thrilled at how people are going to get read some of the fine poems Juliana and Bethany wrote in our class. At the same time, I’m not that surprised that their work was accepted. Besides evidencing keen imaginations as they looked for situations ripe for poetry and having a sharp ear for the sound of words, they worked themselves to the bone revising all their poems. The highest compliment I can pay any poet I offer to them: I read these poems and wished they were mine.”

As a final comment Prof. Haley suggest that anyone consider signing up for Poetry Workshop. He observes, “Everyone has something to say about life, and poetry is one of the best ways to do it. It’s a demanding but rewarding craft that anyone can learn. And from our annual poetry slam to workshopping our poems in the relaxed atmosphere of The Inkwell, we have so much fun in this class it could almost be illegal.”

Junior Major to Have Essay Published in Collection

0 Commentsby   |  01.12.11  |  Student Spotlight

There are many aspects to being a writer, and junior English major Natasha Fowler is experienced enough to relate to most of them first-hand.

Natasha last summer in Israel

Writing begins with getting one’s ideas down on paper. Then there’s the need to show your work to others and get valuable feedback for revision,  a process that can be helped along by taking a creative writing workshop.

A veteran of Creative Nonfiction Workshop and Poetry Workshop, Natasha knows all of the above and also the third thing. There comes a time when you have to have the courage to submit your work, even if it means facing rejection.

But Natasha wasn’t rejected.

Her essay, which she wrote last fall in response to a flier asking for submissions, has just been accepted for publication in the latest installment of Student to Student. This paperback volume collects short devotional essays (350-450 words) from Christian college students around the country. Many of the essays deal with common experiences college students face as they try to live a godly life. According to the editors, the series is designed to encourage students “by offering them practical advice, spiritual insight and a sense that many students face similar struggles.”

Natasha describes her contribution as follows:

“It’s about a friendship that has been one of the biggest challenges and blessings in my life during my college experience. My desire for what I wrote is for other students to see each other with eyes wide open to all possibilities of what God has in store for even the hardest friendship!”

Student to Student is a project of Professors Paul Buchanan and Paula Miller at Biola University. The first Student to Student volume was published in 2008 and featured 60 student essayists.

Prof. Al Haley knows of at least one other ACU student whom he worked with who has appeared in the previous incarnation of this publication.

“There’s a lesson to be learned here,” Professor Haley says. “It’s that if you devote time to your writing, make use of the resources on campus, including your professors, to polish your words, then send your manuscript out, you have a real chance of getting published.”

And what’s the next step? Natasha, who is getting married this May, sees her future this way:

“I love writing short stories and novels and so will continue stubbornly trying to get them published. I also hope to work for a publishing company, preferably linked to a ministry of some kind like the International House of Prayer in Kansas City or Morning Star Ministries in North Carolina.

She concludes, “My future husband, Phil Dosa, and I both have a passion for the church, missions and Israel and look forward to seeing where the Lord takes us in that direction.”