LIZ ANASTASIADIS & ISABELLA ANTONELLI — As the spring semester draws to a close, seniors are finding ways to make their last mark on Denison’s campus. Whether this be through their last game, final speech or chemical reaction, they are finding ways to transition into adulthood and further their lives after Denison. The creative writing department is no different: the students in the department have worked hard to reach their own personal writing goals.
At Denison, each creative writing major puts together a collection of work as their final project. This work varies from poetry collections to prose and original plays.
On April 27, senior creative writing majors presented their original works to professors, family, friends and faculty at the Denison Museum.
The faulty and students were very moved by the performance of the readers.
Professor Peter Grandbois reflects, “It’s always wonderful to see and hear what the creative writers are working on. The senior project is unique in the undergraduate world in that very few colleges or universities offer undergrads a chance to spend a year working on a book length project. It’s hard. Very hard. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart, and the students realize this pretty fast. Many of them go into a panic in about November, when they realize just how hard it is. So, to see the students come out the other end and read from their original, engaging and often quite powerful works is a real treat, and to hear them read in the beautiful Denison Museum just adds to the experience. Congrats to all the senior creative writers! You’ve done it! You’ve written a book!”
During the reading, friends, professors and family came to support the senior students work. One senior, Mattie Shepard, was amazed at the amount of support she got from her sorority sisters and fencing team, but also, the creative writing community at Denison.
“I love any opportunity to hear my fellow creative writing majors read. We come from different backgrounds, have different styles of writing, distinct voices, distinct themes and subjects in our writing, and we can learn a lot from each other because of it. Being part of a community of writers like the one at Denison is a great advantage because people are supportive of one another. We all seek out and give out constructive feedback. No one is trying to one-up anyone. There’s no competitive undercurrent to any of it, and I think that sets Denison apart from many other schools. It’s all about helping each other on their journey to becoming the writer they want to be, and recognizing that the journey is different for everyone,” reflects Shepard on the Postscript reading.
Professor Townsend, the chair of the creative writing department, had a few words to say about the reading. “It was a hugely successful reading with more than 70 people in attendance. Every year I am incredibly proud to have seen the hard work of the entire class come to fruition. Every senior writer works incredibly hard to complete a project that a lot of professional writers can’t do, to finish a full length manuscript in such a short time of an academic year. I love this reading every year because it shows me the deep and abiding intelligence of the senior writers on campus.”
The creative writing seniors are Christian Angelos, Brittany Atkinson, Maddy Bellman, Peter Cruickshank, Alexandra Curran-Cardarelli, Rachel Epstein, Breonna Grant, Manvi Jalan, Rebecca Jarcho, Charlotte Jones, Iryna Klishch, Dennis Lu, Rob Lee, Casey Parker, Jessica McFadden, Kameran Mirblouk, Josie Olschansky, Victoria Ortega, Mattie Shepard, Aidan VanSuetendael, Chase Whipple and Taylor Whitt.
Each student read for around five minutes each. Their works are published in Postscript, the annual senior anthology and are available in the English department’s office in Barney Davis.