Panel @ Literature in the City of Words – Michael Hannan

Literature in the City of Words, English Literature, photo by George Joseph Miller IV

Photo by George Joseph Miller IV

There can never be too many opportunities for emerging writers to showcase their craft on stage; such occasions are rare enough as it is. For this reason, the Literature in the City of Words panel provided an excellent platform for the student body to showcase their creativity during the English Department’s Innovative Learning Day.

First up was Debbie Holm, a postgraduate in the English Department who initiated “A Bit of Auld Reeky: Souvenirs in Writing”, an audience participation segment demonstrating the influence personal experiences can have on writing. What kinds of places inspire writers? How do the personal connections writers make influence their writing? The enthusiastic dialogue which ensued among the audience led to everything from anecdotes about flashing people, to confessions about waking up hungover on The Meadows.

The other three speakers, meanwhile, bared their souls and read pieces of their original creative work aloud. Fourth-year English Literature undergraduate Alex Shedlock read his short story “Kids of Summer”; MSc Creative Writing student Mackenzie Doss read her short pieces “Walk” and “Strange Medicine”; and Joanna Ross-Barrett, displaying true fresher courage, presented her short story “Prom” and her poem “Free Lunch.” All pieces received enthusiastic applause from the audience; this gave way into a panel discussion about the nature of the presenters’ writing, what their influences are, and where they draw their inspiration from.

Overall, the panel was a resounding success, both in the depth and breadth of showcasing student writing talent. A big thumbs-up to English Literature PhD student Charity McAdams for organising and emceeing this event; it was well worth it.

Michael Hannan – MSc Creative Writing

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