Sigma Tau Delta

Students to present at international convention

by Nathana Faddis—Panther Press

The Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society has accepted literary entries submitted by three YC students, to be presented at the organization’s 2010 International Convention. Honored students include London Hawley, Kirsten Clements, and Nathana Faddis. The convention will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, March 17-20. The presenters--Hawley, Clements and Faddis--plan to travel to the convention over Spring Break with their sponsors, including Professors Bev and Tim McNeese, Summer Dickinson, and Kent Ross, and other Sigma Tau Delta members.

London Hawley, a junior English major, submitted a collection of poetry entitled, Trouvéres. Discussing the importance of poetry, she says: “The work of the poet is not merely to tell his own story, but to look into other lives, ones perhaps without a voice, and to tell their stories as well. Any story then becomes his, and in speaking it, he spreads the story to those who listen. Thus, any man’s story can become the story of all the world. Such is the power of poetry—of telling stories.”

Her collection of poetry included a variety of styles, highlighting her talent as a poet.

“One of my poems, ‘Blue,’ is about me,” she explains, “[seen] through the lens of my favorite color. How my life can be seen through that detail, and the picture you get that way.”

London described her selection of poetry. “‘Stars’ is about the Holocaust.

“‘Let Them At Least Have Heard of Brave Knights’ was actually partly inspired by noted author Neil Gaiman, a keynote speaker at last year's conference in St. Paul,” says Hawley. “He had a collection of adapted-fairy-tale type poetry that I loved. The title comes from a C. S. Lewis quote. ‘Quilt’ is a sort of ode to my sister, my way of disguising--and revealing--how much I really care about, admire, and love her. ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’ is--who would have guessed it?--about Cinderella. Once again, partly inspired by Neil Gaiman, although by this time I was just kind of on a roll with the fairy tales. ‘To Mr. W’ is a reaction to Walt Whitman's poetry--with a twist.”

Kirsten Clements, a fellow English major, submitted “Homesick,” a piece of Original Fiction. “This short story follows the conversation of a couple dividing up their belongings as part of their divorce.  They meet for dinner in order to complete the task.” Kirsten explained her piece. “Ultimately, the woman realizes she is losing much more than just some of her possessions.”

Clements’ inspiration came from her desire to write something with a lot of dialogue, and as she put it, “As far as the subject matter goes, I think that in today’s society, the event or circumstance of divorce has become so commonplace that it is easy to forget how devastating it is. I think it is important not to become callous to the pain it causes.”

Nathana Faddis, an English and History/English Education major, submitted a world literature Critical Essay and a collection of poetry. Her critical essay, “Saying So Much with So Little: Deconstruction and the Haiku,” reflects on traditional Japanese haiku through the eyes of Eastern culture and mindsets and explores the embraced ambiguity of the form. Her collection of poetry, “Voices of Change,” reflects a variety of styles and subjects from different cultures and perspectives. Many of them are linked together by a chain of historical events or voices throughout history recounting experiences.

At the conference, London, Nathana and Kirsten will each be given a slot of time to present their work. Afterwards, the audience can ask questions or make comments. The experience provides a unique opportunity for them to share their work in an academic setting.

Hawley commented: “I am looking forward to the experience of presenting my work to an audience of peers and teachers. I look forward to seeing how they react and, moreover, how I react.”

“I know the experience will help strengthen my confidence as a writer,” Clements said, “but I’m nervous about the question/answer period after the presentations. One of my weaknesses is thinking quickly on my feet.”

“Storytellers” is the theme for this spring’s convention and in a different way, London, Kirsten and Nathana’s writings all tell stories, each from a fresh and new perspective, diving into the complex issues and questions of life.


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