On Saturday, February 22nd, three Taylor English majors presented creative writing at Cedarville University’s literary conference. The title of this year’s event was “Experiencing Enigma: Puzzling Our Way to Discovery.” The conference was sponsored by Alpha Kappa Delta, the Cedarville chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.
A morning presentation called “The Enigma of Youth” featured senior English creative writing major Diana Meakem of Fayetteville, North Carolina reading a variety of poems from her senior project, entitled This Pomegranate Seed Heart. Professor and poet Julie Moore of Cedarville moderated the session. Meakem, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the 2014 Parnassus, spoke about the four sections in her manuscript, and the composition process, during the Q & A that followed her reading.
The second session of the day, “Defining Truth Through Writing,” featured junior Becca Hartman from San Antonio, Texas. Hartman read a work of creative nonfiction entitled “And the Curtain Lifts,” a piece that chronicled a troubling time in her life and gestured toward healing by the end. Hartman was asked several questions during the Q & A, discussing subjects like the relationship between art and faith. Julie Deardorff moderated the session.
An afternoon session called “Examining the Broken Pieces” featured sophomore English and Psychology double major Malinda Patterson from Barrington, Illinois, who read a work of creative nonfiction entitled “The Rain Barrel,” in which she examined the nature of language through the lens of a critical time in her adolescence. During the Q & A, she spoke about the risks one takes when writing about her own life and the people in it. This session was moderated by Dr. Heather Hill.
The luncheon featured a reading by veteran poet Dr. Jeff Gundy, a longtime Professor of English at Blufton University and author of many books, including Spoken among the Trees (2007), Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing (2005), Deerflies (2004), and two books of creative nonfiction–A Community of Memory: My Days with George and Clara (1996) and Scattering Point: The World in a Mennonite Eye (2003). Gundy’s poems and essays have appeared in literary and scholarly magazines including The Sun, Colorado Review, Quarterly West, Antioch Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Witness, Christian Century, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Image, Shenandoah, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Creative Nonfiction, Ohio Review, and many, many others.
Taylor’s Department of English once again extends its sincerest thanks to Cedarville for hosting the conference, and to all whose hard work made the event a great success. Professor Bowman, Diana, Becca, and Malinda would also like to thank Taylor’s Department of English for providing transportation to the conference.
Note: sophomore English creative writing major Alex Moore also had work accepted for presentation at the conference but was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.