English dept. celebrates writing

By Charlie Gstalder | Staff Writer

Depicted above is the creative writing panel, which consisted of English faculty and students, at the Celebration of Writing event last Thursday.

Xavier’s English Department commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Writing Center on Thursday with its Celebration of Writing. The event took place in the Conaton Learning Commons (CLC), featuring three panels to discuss various forms of writing, as well as a presentation of a gift for Dr. James A. Glenn, who helped found the Writing Center in 1989.

Dr. Renea Frey, an English professor and director of Xavier’s Writing Program, which oversees first-year English courses, helped plan the Celebration. She shared that the event was organized in collaborative effort of four different departments: the Writing Center, the Writing Program, McDonald Library and the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

She also explains that the event could not have been organized at a more perfect time. “It’s the 30th anniversary of the Writing Center, the CLC has been open for 10 years and it’s right around the National Day on Writing,” she said. The National Day of Writing was recognized on Sunday. All these factors contributed to the decision to host the event.

Assistant Director of Public Services for McDonald Library, Alison Morgan, shown next to James A. Glenn, who was recognized on Thursday.

            The first panel discussed “Academic Writing Across the Disciplines,” focusing on the importance of writing as a skill throughout all fields. It featured professors from Xavier’s management, communications, history, nursing and English Programs. An emphasis was placed on outlining the differences in writing for each discipline, and students were encouraged to ask questions.

Students studying different disciplines were in attendance, such first-year business undecided student Christian Jordan. According to Jordan, the primary reason for his presence at the Celebration of Writing was to learn more about writing. “Writing is something that interests me and that you can really learn a lot from,” he said.

The second panel, “Beyond the Classroom Writing Support,” featured representatives from the McDonald Library, Writing Center and Career Services. Panelists discussed the ways the Writing Center could be used effectively, including the three categories that help is broken up into: development, revision and style/grammar/mechanics.

The third panel spoke on creative writing and featured three members of the English Department, as well as students in the English department. While there was a strong emphasis on poetry, which each panelist practices, all forms of creative writing were discussed. Dr. Norman Finklestein read one of his own poems and shared part of his creative process. Professor Anne McCarty spoke about the creative writing poetry class and the Clocktower Review, Xavier’s literary magazine. Additionally, Professor Jacki Lyon explained her views on the use of dialogue and how to manage criticism.

One of the student panelists, junior Will Roberts, provided a student’s perspective on writing. He shared what poetry means to him, how creative writing has progressed on campus, and read one of his pieces. Roberts also participates in slam poetry events and competitions.  

During the Q&A for this panel, an interesting moment unfolded when an attendant inquired about publishing their own work. The panelist’s advice- don’t. They instead advised this student to read, ask questions and focus on their own writing rather than the idea of publishing. Finklestien cautioned against early publicity as something that hurts many writers.

The Writing Center is located in CLC room 400, and hours vary on a daily basis. Tutoring appointments in one-hour time slots are recommended and can be reserved by calling (513) 745-2875 or emailing writingcenter@xavier.edu.