The annual Linfield Creative Writing Conference took place on March 7 giving students an opportunity to showcase their work in addition to giving spectators the opportunity to ask questions regarding the writing process.
All three panels focused on different themes which mirrored the personal obstacles writers must overcome to create a literary work.
The first panel “‘Tearing the Text’: Writing Anxiety and Irony,” focused on the familiar feeling of writers block: not being able to communicate particular feelings or opinions in text.
Senior Tim Singer read an excerpt from his short fiction piece “Writing Prompt” which focused on a student trying to follow a disturbing writing prompt when he painfully discovers the capabilities of human beings.
Senior Andrea Snyder read her poem “Numbered Pieces of Nothing from a 20-Something Female” which consisted of relatable stories typical of college in a way that hints to the darker aspects of the four year experience.
Senior Madelyn Wong shared her personal essay “Voluntary Dissociation” which investigates how one deals with life threatening ordeals physically, emotionally and psychologically while struggling to maintain an authentic self-identity.
Junior Creative Writing major, Leimomiahikolani (Momi) Hookano presented an excerpt from her short story “Arctic Hub,” a story about an orientation for workers for an organization responsible for continuation of the world.
Freshman Quinn Reisenman closed the first panel with his poem “We Have Been Burning Old Desks” which was inspired by the substantial amount of snowfall and how the weather affected students during the January term.
The second panel entitled “I am not at Home: Troubled Journeys” all consisted of stories of yearning for a home and attempt to find ones identity in an unfamiliar place.
Senior Joshua Davis read an excerpt of his personal essay “Just a Race” which was a light-hearted essay about the serious subject of racism which includes his experiences with racial profiling and his inner conflict with the “N” word.
Senior Kristi Castanara presented an excerpt from her personal essay “Mixed” which focused on her hardships of being bi-racial and wanting to fully embrace the side of her culture that she barely physically resembled.
Senior Caleb Goad presented his quirky-humored short fiction “There is Nothing in the Box” which challenges the idea of identity through the journey of two thieves that have been sent to deliver a box in which its context is not known.
Senior Lucas Dudley presented his two poems “Summer Smoke” and “Buffalo River Babble” which addressed his experience of leaving one life in order to pursue another only to find himself missing the life he tried to escape.
Junior Joanna Buchholz read her poem “Kindergarten” where she reminisces about the innocence of being young and naïve.
A special Keynote talk was given by guest speaker Chris Dombrowski, a poet whose honors include the Assoicated Writing Programs Intro Award and Alligator Juniper’s National Poetry Prize. Dombrowski gave a special presentation regarding the “Legacies of War” and how war has affected the human conscience which is see particularly through poetry.
The last panel “‘Mask and Mirror’: The Self in Part and Whole” focused on detachment and separation.
Junior Samantha Palmer read an excerpt of her short fiction story “Queen and Country,” which explored a society that attempted to fix humanities sins of vanity.
In senior Kyra Rickards personal essay “The Things You Learn” she describes the hardships of growing up bi-racial and the difficulties of embracing individuality while wanting to be a part of the majority.
Sophomore Stefana Maxim’s poem “The Stork” addresses the state of melancholia that one falls under after experiencing a loss.
Sophomore Carlee Parsley also addresses a similar feeling of loss through her poem “To A Missionary, From a Defector” in which the narrator addresses a long-lost friend.
Senior Jake Hillyer’s personal essay “Neon Safety Vest” explored the uncomfortable and disturbing experience of observing a surgery and the level of absurd detachment needed to save a life on the operating table.
The panel concluded with freshmen Samantha West as she read her comedic yet heart wrenching personal essay about her struggle with her love of being in the water.
All of the students published stories can be found in either Linfield’s student-run literary magazine, CAMAS, or in this year’s conference anthology, “The Lost Bell Review.”
Camille Weber / Sports columnist
Camille Weber can be reached at