In springtime, minds turn to thoughts of flowers in bloom, romantic trysts and, of course, poetry.
Indiana State University will be providing three opportunities for the public to explore their creative side at the Great State Student Writer Exchange Reading on March 27, the Student Writers Salon on March 30, and the Fifth Annual Swope Art Museum/Indiana State University Literary Reading on April 1.
Fiction writing is making a comeback on college campuses, says Doug Martin, Ph.D., ISU assistant professor of English and faculty advisor for Arion, the ISU student creative writing association. Breathing new life into the age-old craft of wordsmithing is the phenomenon of "flash fiction," which Martin teaches to students in his "Introduction to Creative Writing" class.
"Research says not to print something over 2,000 words or people won't read it," Martin said. "This is called 'flash fiction' or 'sudden fiction.' It's scary to think our whole society is so attention-deficit disordered that we are calling a short story something that can fit on a coffee mug."
On the upside, however, this 'micro fiction' is making writing more energetic and appealing to the average reader, Martin says.
"Since fiction is getting shorter, some people who normally wouldn't read a longer novel will pick up a collection of short stories and read them," he said.
To hear original fiction - flash or otherwise - check out the following events.
Great State Student Writer Exchange Reading
5 p.m., Monday, March 27; Root Hall A-264, Indiana State University
Creative writing students from the University of Southern Indiana will be on campus to read their original fiction, non-fiction and poetry as part of a student writer exchange program between ISU and USI. The reading is free and open to the public.
The USI students will be joined by their professor, Ron Mitchell. An alumnus of ISU, Mitchell is managing editor of the Southern Indiana Review, a national creative writing journal, and an instructor of creative writing at USI.
"We have created this Student Writer Exchange so our students can see what is being written at other universities," said Doug Martin, Ph.D., ISU assistant professor of English. "This also is a way for the students to network. The people they meet now will end up being the leaders in the publishing and literary industry later on, and it always helps to know people in the industry."
On April 11, Martin and three of his students will travel to USI to read their works.
The Great State Student Writer Exchange is sponsored by the ISU English Department and Creative Writing Program, in cooperation with USI's College of Liberal Arts and Society for the Arts and Humanities.
For more information, contact Martin at (812) 237-3157.
Student Writers Salon
5-6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30; First floor browsing area, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University
One of the best ways for anyone to refine and gain confidence in their own writing is to share it with others, says Tony Wilhelm of Sullivan, an ISU junior English major. This is the idea behind the Student Writers Salon, which Wilhelm is organizing.
"I've made this reading open to the community and any students, graduate and undergraduate, because I know there are many writers on campus who are not English majors," Wilhelm said. "For the community on the whole, it's a great opportunity to see and hear the trends in writing, in an informal setting."
Here is an excerpt from one of Wilhelm's poems, "Another Indiana Winter":
"...Blackened streets flicker from streetlamps
littered up and down the edges of ice forming
in gutters as temperatures plummet to new
nighttime lows for the season to salt the
highways and feed the rust under the cars..."
The Student Writers Salon is sponsored by Arion, the ISU Student Creative Writing Association; the ISU English Department and Creative Writing Program; and the ISU Library. The reading is free and open to the public.
If you would like to give a public reading of one of your original works at this event, contact Doug Martin, ISU assistant professor of English, at (812) 237-3157. For more information, contact Juliet Kerico, ISU assistant librarian, at (812) 237-2629.
Fifth Annual Swope Art Museum/Indiana State University Literary Reading
1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 1; Swope Art Museum's upper gallery, 25 S. Seventh St., Terre Haute
This year's special guest at the Annual Swope Art Museum/Indiana State University Literary Reading is poet Rodney Torreson of Grand Rapids, Mich. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser calls his book, "A Breathable Light," "Deftly restrained, perfectly paced, not one word out of place - a fine book page after page."
The traditional community reading of local writers from the Terre Haute area and Indiana State University students and faculty will follow.
The event is sponsored by the Creative Writing Committee of the Indiana State University English Department and The Swope. The reading is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
If you would like to give a public reading of one of your original works at this event, or for more information, contact Michael Harrold, ISU instructor of English, at (812) 237-3149.
Doug Martin, assistant professor of English, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3157 or email@example.com
Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or firstname.lastname@example.org