Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time for Re-Verse, Sigma Tau Delta style.

Last April, several people in the Department of English and Foreign Languages met to plan a new event, a poetry recitation. Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, sponsored the event and the experiment was born on a rainy Thursday night. Eleven people read, including students and professors. In planning this year's recitation, STD decided to move it to the fall semester.
This is the story of Re-Verse. The beginning, anyway. The second chapter occurs on November 18, a Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Buddy Green Room in the MCC on the Cameron University campus.
The event is open to the the public and anyone can recite a poem as long as they sign up in advance. This year you can speak to Dr. William Carney if you want to recite a poem. Email him at wcarney at cameron dot edu.

You can recite one poem. The poem must by written by anyone other than yourself. Last year, someone recited a poem written by his niece. Dr. Seuss is fair game. So is Chaucer, Shelley, and Plath. Poems not in English ARE ENCOURAGED ENTHUSIASTICALLY. It doesn't matter if no one else speaks Sanskrit; poetry is also about rhythm and sound, and those things can be understood in any language.

Price of admission is a can of food, to be donated by STD to the Lawton Food Bank. Please join us for an evening of fun, friends, and poetry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ken Hada, from Ada, Brings the Poetry Forth Tonight

Ken Hada, poet and professor of English at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, will read tonight at Cameron University. His reading begins at 7:00 and will be held in the CETES building ballroom. The CETES building is behind the Nance-Boyer building and the library.

Ken Hada has numerous publications, including the poetry collection, Spare Parts, published by Mongrel Empire Press. He is also the director of the immensely popular Scissortail Creative Writing Festival of poetry in Ada each Spring.

The reading is free and open to everyone. Please join us for a reading by an Okie who often writes about Oklahoma.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Moira Crone reads her stories about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina

(This article was written by David Pilon, Cameron University creative writing student.)

Award-winning fiction author Moira Crone visited Cameron University on Friday, September, 10 for a reading of some of her work, and I had the pleasure of attending. The reading was part of the continuing Visiting Writers Series at Cameron, which has included in the past such writers as Anis Shivani and Barry Graham.

Crone, a resident of
New Orleans, read for us her short story, “Black Carpet,” about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the effects of crises on relationships. Afterwards was a question and answer with discussion of her writing and her experiences in relation to New Orleans and Katrina. She offered some interesting insight on the disaster as well as into the current culture of NOLA and the increasing growth of the artistic scene there.

Two of her short story collections, What Gets Into Us and Dream State were also being sold outside of the reading. Her work sounds modern and relevant and seems also deeply influenced by her life and experiences in the American South. If you missed the reading, then you can read more about Moira Crone online and find some of her books on Amazon.

The next scheduled Visiting Writer event is
Ken Hada on October 8 at the CETES building.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Second Saturdays are for Open Mic Reading

Celebration time! It's the second Saturday of the month, and in Lawton that means it's time for the Open Mic reading at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Unitarian Universalist Church

@ 701 B Ave.

Saturday night at 6:30

Come celebrate writing with members of the Lawton area writing community. Share a poem, novel chapter, story, or plan for world domination. Everyone is welcome.

There will be coffee. There may be cookies; cookies often happen at the readings.

Last month saw poems, stories, news events, and musical/poetical collaboration.

Among the work I've read recently is micro fiction--stories told in 25 words. This form is gaining a lot of popularity on line, especially Twitter. I share my stories with several people, who also write some solid micro stories. I plan to read more of these at the readings. Here are three of my recent micro stories (or vss, very short stories).

"Momma, are we poor?" Georgie asked. Her mother smiled & touched Georgie's cheek. "Yes, we are." Georgie giggled and kissed her mom's hand.

The band you had come to see did not show. Their replacement was called The Sappy Trees. The singer had orange hair. You swayed slightly.

One day, George understood that he was in trouble, about to enter a downward spiral. He had lost his enthusiasm for birds.

(These stories by Aaron Rudolph appear on Twitter.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Moira Crone reads her fiction Friday Night at 7:00

Novelist and Louisiana State University professor Moira Crone will read on the Cameron University campus Friday (September 10) in the CETES building.

Moira Crone is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is the author of four books of fiction, most recently WHAT GETS INTO US (read a review). Her stories have been selected five times for New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, and her works have appeared in the New Yorker, Oxford American, Image, and many other journals. She has degrees from John Hopkins U. (MD) and Smith College (MA).

Please join us for her reading which will take about an hour. Hear some excellent storytelling and meet others in the Lawton and Cameron writing communities. There may be cookies and coffee. If not, we'll owe you some.

The event is sponsored by CU Lectures and Concerts, the School of Liberal Arts,
the Department of English and Foreign Languages, and Sigma Tau Delta.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A “Gold Mine” of Talent by Leah Ellis

The new journal The Gold Mine was created and published at Cameron University during the last school year by students under the direction of Dr. Jones and Dr. Godsave. The idea was to create a fine arts journal which featured the work of Cameron students. Combining the written art of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, with visual art allowed for the cooperation of students from the English Department and the Art Department. The logistics of bringing together people and submissions from both these departments seemed daunting, but in actuality everything came together very smoothly.

The call for submissions was set so the selection committee could review the work over the break between the fall and spring semester. At first we were concerned that not enough contributions would be made to fill the journal, but on the last few days of the submission deadline a flood of entries came in. The committee gathered in groups reading the manuscripts and looking over the art, while some chose to peruse the material alone. All were accommodated as everyone works differently. Everyone involved willingly gave of their time and resources. For example, Phillip and Amber Harrington graciously opened their home for the group I was involved with which included the journal’s Editor, Aubrey Vandall.

After all the material was reviewed, and the selections were made, the process of formatting and designing the layout began. Aubrey Vandall, Holly Neville representing the Art Department, and myself as Managing Editor met and began discussing the order of submissions in relation to the number of pages and other design issues. While all of this went easily enough Holly’s contribution to the overall layout, and completion of the project cannot be emphasized enough. It was her eye for design and attention to small details that truly created the end product. She presented the Editorial Staff with several different options for a cover. She also put the layout on a program that worked for the printer, without which the journal would have been dead in the water.

The direction of Dr. Jones and Dr. Godsave was just enough to keep the project on track, but not so much as to be over-bearing. The balance formed a working environment for the student staff that was both enjoyable and productive. Both made themselves available at meetings and via email for any questions and concerns regarding the process. They made suggestions while allowing the final decision to be made by the staff of students.

The end product was our “Art and Literary Journal” that features several of the talented students at Cameron University. There are still copies of the journal available, and I strongly encourage people to pick up one. There are several notable pieces in the journal. I have my favorites from each section, like Jutta Carter’s poem, "Memories of Water," Justin Cliburn’s non-fiction entry "Tears in Bagdad," Reece Capps fictional story, "Jake is Dead," and the untitled picture by Bennet Dewan of a guitar player leaning against a wall.

It was a deeply rewarding experience for me to be a part of the journey. There were many wonderful people who came together to see the project through to publication. I am looking forward to being a part of this year’s journal. Seeing the talent of so many of my peers at Cameron is amazing. While our geographical area may be a dusty, baked impoverished zone, the minds it breeds are fertile and rich in imagination. Our local talent is not limited to the University, but it is a gathering ground for those seeking an outlet for their art. The Gold Mine is just one of the outlets available. Students interested in working on this year’s edition, or making submissions should watch for fliers and notices coming this Fall.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Writing Workshop in Duncan Rocked the Senior Center

On Saturday, August 7, 16 writers came to the Senior Citizens Center in Duncan for a writing workshop. At nine in the morning I showed up and found many people sitting at desks, waiting to start. Patsy Nixon was standing, waiting to show me what she had set up. Patsy, Teri McGrath, and myself had been discussing doing a workshop like this for months, probably a whole year. Finally, we decided to actually do it and without all of the work of Patsy, the workshop would’ve never happened. She arranged the space, arranged the food and drink, advertised, got writers to show up, and set up the room. Of course, her husband, Jack, was integral to setting up everything along the way, too. He is the quiet accomplice who gets it done.

Writers from Marlow, Duncan, Ft. Sill, Lawton, and other places attended. Experience ranged from beginners to pros who’ve been writing for years. Some writers in attendance have finished book manuscripts even. Stacey, for example, has written a memoir. He ws the last stowaway on the original Queen Mary ship. He boarded with the help of some younger crew in England and was caught on the way to Brazil. The American consulate gave him two choices: wait in Brazil until a plane to the U.S. could be arranged or stay on board the ship as a non-paying crew member for the last three weeks of the voyage. Stacey picked the latter option and wrote a 300-page manuscript about his adventures.

On Saturday, we did a few exercises and wrote about place. One writer showed Marlow as a spooky place at night while a new resident to Duncan resident showed it to have almost Utopian features. A Lawton writer focused on the many police cars and that the cars read “POL...ICE” Now, I can only see that when I see a Lawton police car since the workshop.

The workshop ran for four hours but included a break and a long lunch where everyone enjoyed talking to people they had just met and many attendees discussed writing over lunch. It was a nice event for sure. We’ve discussed doing more, of course, including a return to the Duncan Senior Citizens Center. Hopefully in six months or so.