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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Literature, Writing and Rhetoric Department hosts Creative Writing Showcase with student writers

Tate Burchfield / Hilltop Views
Senior Sienna Wight presented a piece of poetry as well as an A-Z flash fiction piece. An A-Z flash fiction piece is one that is composed of 26 lines which each start with a letter of the alphabet. With this, the author is challenged to compose a story in a creative manner under the requirements.

The St. Edward’s Literature, Writing and Rhetoric (LWR) Department partnered with Sorin Oak Review to present a Creative Writing Showcase in the North Reading Room at Munday Library. The showcase featured students who were selected for publication in this year’s Sorin Oak Review, as well as students who volunteered to participate in an open-mic reading.

This showcase was the first of its kind for the school. The event was a part of the scheduled activities for Family Weekend, another first for the hilltop on the weekend of April 5 to 7.

“The School of Arts and Humanities was contacted by the University asking if we would like to have an event for Family Weekend, and we immediately thought of creative writing,” department chair Amy Clements, Ph.D., said. “We were not sure of the logistics of hosting a speaker for the weekend, so instead Sorin Oak’s advisor Dr. Mary Helen Specht invited certain writers to speak at a casual reading.”

The first part of the event featured seven student writers who read various pieces of prose or poetry. The writers, who went in alphabetical order by first name, presented works of various lengths and topics. Junior Angelica Macias read a contemplative poetry piece on homelessness in Austin while senior Liam Quinn read a wholesome poetry piece surrounding the importance of his newborn puppy.

Clements and Specht then opened up the floor for attendees to participate in an open-mic reading if they would like to, which had three students volunteer to read their poetry pieces.

“We did not want to be exclusive, so we added the open-mic section to the event because there might be people who didn’t even know Sorin Oak existed before the event,” Clements said.

The Sorin Oak Review is a literary journal found on St. Edward’s campus which has been released annually on campus since 1991, first being published under the name “Aesthetic Voice.” The pieces read at the Creative Writing Showcase mark the first time that admitted works have been presented to the public.

Outlets like the Sorin Oak Review and creative writing classes offer students the ability to learn and hone their skills in writing before graduation. There is a vast interplay between LWR classes and the Sorin Oak Review, which was jokingly mentioned by senior Sienna Wight, who thanked Specht for requiring her to submit pieces to the journal.

“By going through the Poetry I Workshop class, I was able to go through a lot of revisions with my poems and sit with them for a while,” Quinn said. “Which, coming out of that class, gave me some really solid work that I was happy to put out into the world.” 

A poetry reading can be a transformative experience through which a writer can showcase their work in the context they wish.

“Reading poetry gives you the opportunity to express your work to others in the way you want to express it, the work gets expressed one way on the page but can have a completely different intended meaning outside of it,” Quinn said.

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Tate Burchfield
Tate Burchfield, Staff Writer
Tate Burchfield is a first year student on the hilltop, and this is his first year writing for Hilltop Views. He is interested in politics and the arts. He is from Galveston, Texas and is excited to spend his time in Austin with Hilltop Views.

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