Poetry and Writing Continues to Thrive on East Campus

A message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Several East Campus faculty members in the communication department have been hard at work writing novels, stories and poems, and now their work is winning awards and being published.

Professors of English, Shari Koopmann and John Hughes have had novels accepted for publication. John also recently had a story published, “Comes Good Friday” in the Provo Canyon Review.

Adjunct professors of English, Michael Wheaton, Holly Elliott, Linda Goddard and Jesse Ross have experienced success as well. Michael’s story, “All Your Future Songs,” was published at revolution house magazine, and Holly’s poem, “Day of the Chickens,” was published in the anthology “Barnyard Horror.” Linda was a runner up in the Yellow Jacket Press Poetry Chapbook contest, and Jesse’s work will appear in a fiction project called “Forget How You Found Us” coming in June.

Additionally, the communications department hosted several readings by local writers this year. In October 2013, Philip F. Deaver and Susan Lilley, both professors at Rollins College, read their fiction and poetry.

In spring 2014, Matt Batt read his fiction, and Suzannah Gilman and Laura Sobbett Ross read from their poetry chapbooks.

March and April 2014, were busy months with readings from Ted Chiang, Kevin Meehan, Vanessa Blakeslee, Nathan Holic and David James Poissant and Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes.

Writers have also visited East Campus classrooms. Tamara Madison, writer, musician and poet led a writing workshop and read from her forthcoming publication. James Thomas, author and entrepreneur, facilitated class discussion and read from his nonfiction work. Sandra Chavez Johnson, technical writer, poet and editor, conducted writing workshops and facilitated a discussion on manuscript writing and publishing.

Next year, more creative writing courses on East Campus will be offered than ever before, and in fall 2014, three sections of creative writing will be available:

  • Creative Writing (CRW 2001)
  • Introduction to Poetry I (CRW 2300)
  • Introduction to Fiction (CRW 2100)

Fiction II and Poetry II courses will be added in the spring.

Additional noteworthy writing work to mention is “Fallero,” a student literary arts magazine published by the communications department. Students from all Valencia campuses can submit film, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, scholarly essays and digital media.

Generally, writers are invited by professors in the department who know or have heard of them and believe they can enhance the classroom experience. Employees may get involved by attending readings and even making recommendations for writers to invite, according to John Hughes.

To learn more about the creative writing team, please contact Victoria ” Tori” Grajeda, professor of English, at vgrajeda@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 2017.

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