Creative writers on campus will soon have a space of their own, if Professor Catie Rosemurgy’s Writing Communities class has anything to say about it. The course is being offered for the first time this semester.
In addition to studying literature and poetry, students in the four-credit class are also involved in the business and marketing aspects of published writing, such as public relations, author information and facilities and contact information for events. The class is responsible for putting together a Visiting Writer Series (VWS), a Student Writing Series (SRS) and community projects determined by each student.
As part of the VWS, poet Mark Bibbins will be coming to the College on Oct. 2. He will be reading some of his poems and signing books. In preparation for his visit, students in Writing Communities have been reading and discussing his works as well as publicizing the event, which is open to the entire campus. A select group of students have also volunteered their own poetry for one-on-one workshops with the poet during his visit.
Fiction writer Jennifer Egan will be the VWS’ featured guest in November. “I think the readings will become an important part of what TCNJ has to offer to both its students as well as the community,” April Huda, senior English major, said. “I am really enthusiastic about going to (Bibbins’) reading because his poetry is amazing.”
The Student Writing Series is an opportunity for students to share their works with other writers. “There’s something very inspiring about creating this sense of community among the writers on campus,” Rebekah Sankey, senior English and secondary education major, said. “Having other writers to bounce ideas off of, getting to know the work of your peers – you see the kind of talent actually present on the campus and are motivated by your being a part of it.”
One project that will be coming out of the class is Ink – a group that will apply to become a student organization. According to senior English major and Ink President Dan Brady, the organization will provide “a chance (for writers on campus) to interact, exchange ideas and just socialize.”
Even though Writing Communities is relatively new, students of the class are enthusiastic about the course and its lasting impact on campus. “I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was getting into when I signed up for the class but it has proved to be an unforgettable experience, one that I wouldn’t trade.” Linda Gallant, junior English major, said. “I think it’s great to know that this isn`t a class that ends with the semester – people will build on what you’ve done for years to come,” she added.
“I like the idea that I get a chance to ‘leave my mark,'” LacyJane Ryman, senior English major said. “After this is all done we will be able to look back and say, ‘yeah, I did that!'”