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Christine Tergis: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Christine Tergis poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ entries, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

“Prometheus, the Poet”
by
Christine Tergis

With stolen lines and tawny colored pen,
His brutish strength defied all ordered form.
He brought the words that flicker to all men,
To them, he shows a fire that can deform.
Now chained to rock it seems his power expir’d
His clay creations bleed into a stain.
I know free flame was all he had desired,
Yet meter claws and forces the refrain.
How did his yearning bring him such a fate,
Can iron fetters stop his hands from molding?
While all the while he fights against the strait
Inside a burning song is nearly smold’ring…
But once released, he could not seem to thank
The freeing verse that felt so very blank.

Christine Tergis, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “Poetry (to me) means that I am not weird for wanting to look at the world while standing on my head, alternately blinking both eyes and yelling into an empty cave. As a Shakespearean sonnet, ‘Prometheus, the Poet’ explores the tension between form/content as restricting/enabling creative expression.”

Christine Tergis is an English major and Spanish minor from Yonkers, New York. She enjoys yoga, cooking yumtastic food, speaking in accents and spontaneously erupting into interpretive dance (with or without music).

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Mary Lister: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Mary Lister poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ entries, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

Excerpt from “Mango Machete”
by
Mary Lister

“Do you have a history of mental illness or violent tendencies? Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

Our medical clinic was half-way completed, and I silently wondered if they would take him there to be treated by the single nurse who sat in the single room all night long. I am white. I am American, and they sent me home without thinking about my clinic or our small stone house surrounded by a moat of glass but consumed by my sticky machete that cut more than a mango that night.

“Where did you get the knife? Why were you walking in the dark carrying a lethal weapon?”

It was just like the times before, it was dark and he treaded toward me, not even hiding his heavy approach. I was drunk and stoned and clutching two sweating chocolate milk cartons in one hand. It felt like I was swimming through the thick air that ached for monsoon season. He came from behind but I was ready this time. My shoulders tingled with effort as something hot dripped down the side of my leg. Later, I found a straight cut about the length of my pinky I made against my hip while pulling out the sticky mango machete, like one from a razor. I thought about Skokes and her ring of tears and her tired boots. I thought about Asia in the hamper, surrounded by a sea of her own dark red blood, looking like a vampire after a meal. I thought about the Twizzlers I had been on my way to retrieve, the Twizzlers not-Sesie’s girlfriend had sent me the day before. Flailing through the blackness, I made contact with flesh as Mat Kearney played in my head. Skin is tougher than you’d think and bones make a funny clinging sound when they meet metal, like a bell underwater. I heard a yell, but I don’t know if it was mine or his. It must’ve been mine, because the mob came running. And so did Sesie.

“How did you know the man you attacked? Where did you meet the people who came to your aid? Was this attack premeditated?”

That’s why I’m here. I like this place because I can hear the electricity crackling and there isn’t a machete on my hip. I am staying here to recover from that last night, but they don’t understand that it started with a sign that read “Luluu” and a glass ocean and a white sand beach. Here, I’m becoming not-Lulu, but they want me to remember being Lulu without being sad, so they feed me medicine to make my thoughts slow down. I think I should be in jail because they told me later that he died. They didn’t tell me that I killed him because they only found his charred body after the mob came. The mob that showers mwizi in gasoline, wraps them in a rubber tire and throws a torch at them. I said mwizi and mwizi is a death sentence—they put a tire around him and lit up the night.

Mary Lister, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “This piece follows a group of young women through their journey and battles as volunteers in and East African city. I utilized my basic knowledge of Swahili to try and give an air of authenticity and I hope the story gives off a bit of thriller-esque drama—it’s meant to!”

Mary Lister is a senior Political Science and Honors major from West Chester, Pa. She likes piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and snuggling with her kitten named Cat while pretending she is a blond Audrey Hepburn.

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Mary Grace Mangano: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Mangano poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

“First Impressions”
by
Mary Grace Mangano

I’m convinced we never see
people properly
the first time.
You can’t look at someone
and see him
until you know him.
Have seen him writing
with pencil
or patting a dog
or sneezing
putting on socks
buttoning a coat
blowing on an eyelash
to make a wish.

Mary Grace Mangano, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “I’ve heard that the most imaginative space is the moment when a person wakes, somewhat startled to find herself in a new day. Maybe this is because all of the scattered thoughts a person has while sleeping and dreaming remain on the surface and introduce themselves. Writing–especially poems–seems to happen like this for me. It will start with a thought, feeling, or idea that presents itself to me and the more I sit with it, the more I want to say something about it. The writing itself is a way to explore that flash of an idea, to find a way to say what I’m feeling or thinking. In a way, the poetry is being able to find a moment to explore these ideas and share it with words, on the page, to other people.”

Mary Grace Mangano is an English major seeking an honors degree with a concentration in writing and rhetoric and an Italian minor. She is from Clinton, New Jersey, has enjoyed creative writing since she was a young girl, and also loves to run, dance, cook, read and travel.

Like this poem? Come to the Open Mic Poetry ReadingWed., April 23, 12 – 1 p.m. and you may get to hear this author read her poems. You’re also welcome to share your own. 

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Sarah Garland: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Sarah Garland poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

“Taken”
by
Sarah Garland

Shutters splintered
Basement flooded
Black mold creeps like ringworm
In the recesses of the crawlspace
Spores soar, invading our breathing space.

When Jake was young I lost him in the crowd.
He had been holding my hand, and I turned around,
Just for a second.
It’s like that, the quickened pulse, tight chest,
Over-firing neurons – panic.

If FEMA can’t help,
Where will he go?
Sandy will rip us apart,
More inconvenient debris
scattered across the city.

Sarah Garland, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “‘Taken’ was written as part of a project for my literary festival class, for which we were asked to write a series of poems from different narrative points of view.  The speaker in ‘Taken’ was inspired by the stories and people I met on my break trip to areas destroyed and slow to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.”

Sarah Garland is a senior English major from Severna Park, MD.  She is has been on two break trips and is involved with sorority and Villanova Ambassadors.

Like this poem? Come to the Open Mic Poetry ReadingWed., April 23, 12 – 1 p.m. and you may get to hear this author read her poems. You’re also welcome to share your own. 

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Kimberly Julien: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Kimberly Julien poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

Excerpt from “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow”
by
Kimberly Julien

……“The way he suddenly sounds so serious makes me want to run back into the hotel. He knows the way we live. He knows the type of people we are.
……He knows why I visit the tree every year, and show up in his club right after, looking for every escape possible.
……Because we might be dead by tomorrow, and heaven forbid we die alone.
……A part of me wants to say all this, wants to ask him if it’s really okay. This isn’t my place. It’s a foreign land.”

Kimberley Julien, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says ”I do a lot of writing in the middle of class. I don’t set out to write in class. My mind just wanders a lot. My notes from all my classes are filled with story fragments, some pages long. Before computers got big, it used to be a real hassle. Now I can collate everything when I get home.”

Kimberly Julien is an English major from Lakewood, New Jersey. She enjoys foreign languages, film scores, lucid dreaming and writing. Her least favourite Shakespeare play is Romeo and Juliet.

 

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Nkiruka Umegbolu: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Nkiruka poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

“Retail Therapy”
by
Nkiruka Umegbolu

Jesus wept
As I walked
Through the revolving doors
Made a LEFT
Wait no
A RIGHT
Two more RIGHT(s)
Down the escalator
Around the corner
Then
A LEFT
This
Is the LEFT I was referring to earlier
The premature LEFT
Like when girls hit puberty
Before boys grow pubic hair
Ages 9-13
Aisle 14
Deliberation
& Renovation
My Barbie Dream House
& The Pink Glam Corvette
That I will always drive
To the job I will never have
Barbie I Can Be…
Anything , Trademarked & Copyrighted….
But only the
Mermaid
Beautiful Fairy
Ms. USA
Ballerina
Dolls are in stock
And
Before we entered
Mother explicitly stated
Either/Or
But I wanted to Have-It-All
So I Bought-Them-All
Fast forward…parking lot
Despair, Fatigue, Pain, Aggression
PMS?
Buyer’s Remorse?
Either/Or
c. All of the Above

Nkiruka Umegbolu, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “I know the poem is finished when I enjoy reading it aloud each and every time.”

Like this poem? Come to the Open Mic Poetry ReadingWed., April 23, 12 – 1 p.m. and you may get to hear this author read her poems. You’re also welcome to share your own. 

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Joe Steadman: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Joe Steadman poem photo

Joe Steadman

To honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

“Wild Onions and Golden Arms”
by
Joe Steadman

Drank the venom,
Spat dry its gold.
Cues up on the wall,
Eyes down to the night,
The up-down hours fell on us all.

Embraced sidewalks,
Each step its grace.
Human buildings idled,
Some stumbled the street,
Our lives we paused to stalk.

Our moon hovered,
City stars hid.
The dull buzz glowed,
Street lights and bar signs,
“24 hours, Polish to go.”

We breathed salt and beer,
Whispered gros mots and fear,
When we grew up in Chicago.

Joe Steadman, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “‘Wild Onions and Golden Arms’ is a painting of many nights I spent with Chicago, my friends from Chicago, and late night Chicago fare. I tried to make a pretty picture with words to show how each detail contributes to the action of the night, and how a young man’s wandering mind is very much part of that action.”

Joe Steadman is a French and political science major from Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys going to baseball games, reading Chicago authors and grilling with his friends in Ardmore.

Like this poem? Come to the Open Mic Poetry Reading, Wed., April 23, 12 – 1 p.m. and you may get to hear this author read his poems. You’re also welcome to share your own. 

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Lisa Sewell, PhD, Expands Poster Event to Include Student Prose

SEWELL DREW

Lisa Sewell and Alan Drew

Since 2006, Lisa Sewell, PhD, associate professor in the Department of English; director of programming, Gender and Women’s Studies; and faculty editor-in-chief of CONCEPT, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Graduate Studies, has collaborated with Falvey Memorial Library to hold an open-mic poetry reading. A well-published poet with several books of her poetry in Falvey’s collection, Dr. Sewell volunteers her time to engage students in and to promote this annual event.

Dr. Sewell has also worked with the Library to display posters featuring senior students’ poems throughout its first floor during April, National Poetry Month. This year, Dr. Sewell teamed up with Alan Drew, MFA, assistant professor of English/creative writing, to include both senior student’s poems and excepts from their prose on the posters. Why only seniors? These students are contestants for the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards.

Several contestants for the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards have given the Library permission to display their prose excerpts and poems not only on posters in the Library but also on the library’s blog. Please check here regularly to see their contest entries.


Article by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

 

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Jeff Stevens, Falvey’s Latest Student Employee of the Month

Jeff StevensJeffrey (Jeff) Stevens, a junior from Cheshire, Conn., is Falvey’s new student employee of the month for February. Jeff works as a shelver and circulation-desk assistant, reporting to Barbara Haas, a library stacks management assistant, while shelving, and to Luisa Cywinski, Access Services team leader, while on the desk. Haas says, “He’s a wonderful student worker – very efficient, pleasant and a good time-manager. If I give Jeff a job to do, I know it will be done well and in a timely fashion.”

Jeff has worked at Falvey since the beginning of his freshman year. He says, “I have really enjoyed my time working at Falvey, especially working in the stacks. Not only do I have the instant gratification of finishing a bunch of small tasks, but also it is relaxing. I have taken a liking to listening to audio-books or catching up on news, via podcast, while shelving.” He has also been a Villanova resident assistant.

Jeff is a member of the Villanova Singers and the Pastoral Musicians. He enjoys singing and golfing.

He has a major in accounting and finance and a minor in real estate and will graduate in May 2015. After graduation he plans to work in the accounting department of a relatively large firm. “I could easily go the big four public accounting route, but from what I’ve heard about the lifestyle I’d much prefer sticking to the private sector. I’m a big proponent of having a strong work/life balance,” Jeff says.


The University Staff Council (USC) of Falvey, led by Linda Hauck, business librarian, selects a student employee of the month based upon nominations from the department supervisors of student employees.

Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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Jane Golden and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Jane GoldenJane Golden, founder and executive director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, will present a talk on Monday, April 7, at 3:00 p.m. in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner. She will discuss the Mural Arts Program and present a slideshow of some of the latest, most impressive Philadelphia murals.

Golden began Mural Arts thirty years ago as an anti-graffiti program. Mural Arts is now internationally recognized for its leadership in community-based public art, a program which has involved over 30,000 young men and women. The participants have created 3,600 public murals. Mural Arts’ goal is “to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives and asserts our fundamental belief that art can ignite change.”

Mayor W.Wilson Goode (mayor 1984-1992) originally hired Golden to help combat Philadelphia’s graffiti problem. She reached out to the graffiti writers and, recognizing their artistic talents, began to provide opportunities for them to utilize their skills as mural painters in appropriate settings.

Golden was appointed director of the Mural Arts Program in 1996 when it was placed under Philadelphia’s Department of Recreation. She has supervised numerous complex public art projects which have helped transform Philadelphia neighborhoods and allowed thousands to experience art in every day settings.

She has undergraduate degrees in fine arts and political science from Stanford University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University. Golden received the Adela Dwyer – St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award from Villanova in 2008. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at commencement in 2008. She also holds honorary PhDs from Swarthmore College, University of the Arts, Widener University and Haverford College.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English and its concentration in writing and rhetoric, the Cultural Studies Program and Falvey Memorial Library. It is free and open to the public.

Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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Last Modified: April 6, 2014