Creative Writing Institute Showcases Student Talent

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The JCU Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation invited the JCU community to a reading by a group of talented students on June 20th. The students from Professor Michael Carroll’s Fiction Workshop class presented selections from the work they have crafted during the summer session. The event kicked off with an introduction by Professor Carlos Dews, the Chair of JCU’s Department of English Language and Literature as well as Director of the Creative Writing Institute. Professor Dews then introduced JCU alumnus Jahan Khajavi, who read an excerpt from his poem “Around Here.”

Professor Michael Carroll and the students participating in the event

Professor Michael Carroll and the students participating in the event

Visiting student Jefferson Thomas read an excerpt from the short story called “Sunday Mourning.” The story follows the journey of the main character Colin, who, surrounded by members of his problematic family, goes through an experience that will change his view of the world. A stray dog that he encounters will help him find a substitute for the sense of compassion that he lacks.

Nick Ciniglio, a degree-seeking student from Rhode Island, read the prologue of a novel, Evermore, that he is hoping to write.

Visiting student Mary McLoud read her short story “Eggs,” which touches upon the important topic of coping with grief. The main character, a little girl named Sadie, misses her brother who passed away, and as a part of a school project, she tries to make eggs from the supermarket hatch. As she begins to realize that this is not possible, the house became “a museum of grief” for her, as she tries to find support from parents, who are going through the same psychological roller coaster.

Another visiting student, Philip Clem, shared a couple of vignettes and a poem he completed recently. The first vignette describes a scene from a journey to the Middle East. The second one is about running around Seattle with a friend when he was a teenager, and the poem “waking up in the middle of the night in the lover’s apartment” unveils emotional details of an intimate relationship between two men.

The event concluded with student Kath Emmet’s reading of an untitled short story that evokes her connection to her late father.