Students share written works at showcase

Mallory Kaul

From education to biology majors, seven students came together with one common goal in mind—to share a piece of writing. Poems, works of fiction and even personal narrative essays were on display at the Student Writer’s Showcase. 

Many applicants submitted to the showcase, but only a few were selected to read their work. The audience was filled with supportive students and staff, who exploded with applause after every reading. The attentive audience added an extra comfort level for the first-time readers.

The Student Writer’s Showcase is an annual Humanities Institute event started by Meredith McKinnie in 2011, pausing only briefly to adhere to pandemic regulations. This decade-long event gives students the opportunity to share essays they had turned in for a class or something they had worked on in their personal time.

Professors such as Anahy Mejia, an English instructor at ULM, encouraged students to submit stories and poems they were particularly proud of. 

Garret Bufford, an English education major, submitted a story he wrote for a class about Greek mythos and the relationship between Calypso and Odysseus, entitled “Calypso’s Lament.” He said that, for once, he was proud of something he had written and was excited to be selected to read.

“I don’t often get to share my creative works with others,” Bufford said. “I felt affirmed in my writing skills after this event, and it encouraged me to continue to write.”

Shorter works, such as poems, had a significant impact on the audience. English major Azylah Gardener recited her poem “Misunderstood” from memory. Her supervisor encouraged her to submit it, and she believes the experience gave her the confidence for further submissions. 

“This was my first showcase, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Azylah said. “It created a positive and open environment for students to share their work and explore writing from different perspectives.”

Tabitha McBride, an English professor, was glad to have the opportunity to lead such an event, as she knows students have very admirable work to share. 

“I love seeing students blossom in writing,” McBride said. “I think this event can push our presenters to share in other ways, like publishing and sharing at other events.”