Kathryn Smith Poetry Reading! 11.15.2017

On November 15th, the Whitworth English Department will be hosting poet and nonfiction author, Kathryn Smith.

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Her most recent works within her book, BOOK OF EXODUS, examine wilderness, loneliness and faith. This collection of poems follow an imagined Russian family’s experiences and trials while living in Siberia.

There will be a reception immediately following the reading in the Red Room directly across from Stage 2 in Cowles Auditorium.

Wednesday, November 15th

7pm

Cowles Auditorium, Stage 2

Find out more about Kathryn Smith and her work on her website: https://kathrynsmithpoetry.com

Congratulations Chapbook Contest Winners!

Congratulations goes out to the three winners of this year’s Chapbook contest! Here’s a look into the winners and excerpts from their winning work.

1st Place: Molly Rupp

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Bio:  Molly Rupp is a senior English major, with an art minor. She has an alarming affinity for parenthetical asides, strongly advocates for the Oxford Comma, and hopes to one day live in a cabin on the Oregon Coast, surrounded by cats. Notable skills include, but are not limited to: binge watching Netflix, quoting Harry Potter in everyday conversation, embracing awkward social situations, and making killer mac and cheese.

Excerpt from Gloria Patri:

“This time I know I was four because that year we borrowed a shaky video camera from a family friend and have hours of footage. There’s me toddling around with confident steps in a Minnie Mouse costume on a windy day, the river and my dad’s office in the background and the voice of my mother competing with the sound of gusts on microphone. The preschool production of The Three Little Pigs and distracted children forgetting lines and missing notes and me in a puffy white hat and prim and proper dress with apron, showing off my new-found skill of eye-rolling. Christmas Eve and the nativity scene and I’m wrapped in cloth that worked as a makeshift dress, stiff and falling into my eyes. The Virgin Mary always seems to be dressed in blue in nativity scenes although I’ve never particularly understood why, so my cloth was blue and my face was red and I clutched the swaddled doll in a death grip and Mrs. Bradford was telling me from the front of the stage that I could put Jesus in the manger now.

We’d practiced for weeks and all I knew was fear because what if I put the doll in at the wrong time and what if I didn’t look peaceful enough and why was she called the Virgin Mary anyways and what if I dropped the baby Jesus, I couldn’t just drop Jesus in front of everybody and now it was Christmas and everyone knows that that’s like, the moment, and my four year old hands are clutching this doll that the day before I’d been playing school with and telling to eat its vegetables, and I know I need to put it in the manger. It’s Jesus now and that’s where the baby Jesus is supposed to go and everyone is waiting.”

 

 

2nd Place” Molly Daniels

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Bio: Molly Daniels is a senior majoring in English and minoring in Philosophy and Music. Her family resides in Missoula, Mt. She often takes part in Whitworth plays, and she enjoys reading, cooking, and swing dancing. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in creative writing and book design.

Excerpt:

sun-scorched

he gives chase          scatters leaves underfoot         appetite to taste the earth teeth

breaking olive skin—

she flees, a race to the riverbed cry father-god

his word                dripping finger            dragged from the deep

proclaims her bark               stretched to the sky         winding grooves and paper flesh

she eludes           and yet        he breaks off branches      he leaves her        bleeding sap

crowns himself with              hair and fingernails

 

 

 

3rd Place: Hannah McCollum

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Bio:Hannah McCollum (’18) is currently studying abroad in Guatemala and Nicaragua. She misses Westminster and mashed potatoes ‘n’ gravy. When she returns to Whitworth she will miss the amazing Guatemalan hot chocolate. Her majors are English/Writing and Spanish.

Excerpt from “My Mom’s Hands:”

In dusty cardboard boxes my parents kept our old finger paint masterpieces and drawings on faded construction paper. When my older brother James was in kindergarten he listed facts about Mom for a Mother’s Day gift. Mommy’s favorite thing in the world to do, according to this record, was laundry. That is actually her least favorite chore. I remember her sitting on the carpet in front of the TV with towers of laundry baskets beside her. Pride and Prejudice would be playing, the long one that spread over six VHS tapes, which my mom had seen approximately one hundred times. She didn’t watch movies, she played movies in the background while she sorted and folded warm smelling clothes.

I thought Elizabeth Bennet looked a little like my mom did in my parent’s wedding picture: they both wore simple white dresses and proud gazes. Once I wandered into the master bedroom and found my mom sitting on the bed with the picture out of its frame. I sat next to her and watched her use a brown pencil to bring up the corners of her sepia tone lips, trying to soften her expression from fifteen or twenty years ago. Next to the serious bride stood a version of my dad with longer, fuller hair and bigger glasses. He was smiling widely.

Recently Published in the The Cresset: A review of literature, the arts, and public affairs

The most recent issue of The Cresset featured two Whitworth names.

Associate Professor of English, Charles Andrews published a review of the recent movie version of Vera Brittain’s memoir Testament of Youth titled “Learning to Live with Ghosts” as part of his research of the British peace movement.

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Also appearing in the same issue is a poem, titled “Losing His Religion” written by Whitworth alumnus Michael Schmidt (’13)
 

Oxford Commas & Siam Crispy Chicken

By: Hanna Martin

Free food – the (perhaps literal) carrot on a stick that all college students follow…

My summer internship as an editorial intern at Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine, though unpaid, was full of free food (and a bunch of other cool stuff).

Looking back, my daily schedule seemed to be: 1) Edit. 2) Write. 3) Eat!

When we met our sales goal, the entire office went to O’Doherty’s for lunch. My first article was for the “Signature Dish” page of the magazine so I got to go to The Ivory Table, the only restaurant in Spokane that serves traditional buckwheat crêpes. Over an amazing salmon crêpe and fresh lemonade, I got to chat with the owner of the restaurant about her life and her aspirations. For the next month’s article, I went to a Thai place out in Airway Heights where I was served amazing chicken and perfect white rice. In lieu of a plate, the dish was served inside half of a pineapple! One day, we went to a restaurant owner’s office for lunch, where he literally spread dressing on each individual salad leaf by hand, made mango salsa, and BBQ-d us chicken lavished with African spices. Each year the magazine puts on one or two major parties to celebrate publication. The Hot Summer Nights 20s-themed party was up at Arbor Crest, where we feasted on greasy pizza, fancy chocolate and Arbor Crest’s signature Riesling. Then, naturally, we had a huge dance party under the stars. On my last day of work, to send me off into the school year, we all had tender pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, coleslaw and baked beans for lunch.

One of Hanna's delicious meals on the job

One of Hanna’s delicious meals on the job

Who knew the publishing world could be so filling?

Of course, there were also the realities of my life as an editorial intern. I did immense amounts of research on the topics we featured in the magazine each month, on everything from prohibition and Silverwood attendance to heart health facts and the hours of local restaurants. My favorite part of the job consisted of copyediting the entire magazine the day before publication each month. I’d sit at my desk poring over page after page, trying to make the issue perfect by catching every single spelling error, every Oxford comma (which Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living doesn’t use), every instance where sentences had two spaces instead of one between them.

Obviously I was thrilled when I was given my first feature-length article, a 20-page spread on a historic home in Spokane. I got to tour the home and interview the owner, meet their dog and then write about it all! The home is in the Rockwood district and was designed by Spokane’s first city planners and architects. The oldest ginkgo tree in Spokane is on the property, which also includes a mini putting green, a swimming pool, tennis court, and 11-car garage! It was a home worth writing about.

For all the good parts of the job, there was one sad truth:

Working anywhere in the modern world, you will spend half your life waiting for other people to email you back. Nearly all the communication, coordinating, and even some of the interviewing that I did was via email. It is 2015, and email should accessible in literally 2.5 seconds on your phone…It should never take you more than a day to reply to someone’s email. I assume that people who operate successfully in the professional world will respond to emails as soon as possible.

For you seniors, I have to tell you that I did in fact get this job because of a connection. I didn’t even know I had the connection when I went into the interview, but it turns out that the editor-in-chief is friends with my dad’s colleague’s wife. Crazy. But no matter how distant the connection, try and find one! They’re valuable.

In all seriousness, my time at Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living was immensely rewarding. Seeing my name in print on a glossy, colorful page sent my self-esteem through the roof. I got to wear fancy dresses, heels and lipstick every day and tell people at the grocery store that I had just recently become a published author!

More meaningfully, I was able to build community in the city that I love. Being the youngest in the office, (and with the magazine demographic geared towards 30-40-year-olds), I brought a fresh, new perspective to the summer issues of the magazine. I interviewed people in the city that otherwise might never have received the recognition they deserved. In a personal article, I was even able to share my belief in God and my wonder at His creation with readers.

This internship unearthed the deep desires that push me towards a career in editing and publication. I’ve always loved reading and I’ve always loved words. Now I understand more fully that words hold incredible power. I’ll make sure that the questions and issues raised in literature and media are important and valuable to our readers. I encourage you, English majors, to make your words meaningful, too.

Hanna pictured with her dad on the summit of Mt. Adams holding the magazine

Hanna pictured with her dad on the summit of Mt. Adams holding the magazine

Click the link to read another one of Hanna’s online articles about mountaineering.

Hanna Martin is a senior at Whitworth. She is double majoring in English Literature and French, and she is studying abroad next semester. Hanna got addicted to adventure last May-Term, and has since devoted her time to traveling, reading, and doing as many outdoor activities as possible.

 

This post is part of the Looksharp Internship Blog Competition. To read more about the competition and view other posts go here.

Casey Andrews expands the definition of film noir

Inherent_Vice_film_posterCharles Andrews (known as Casey) teaches courses in modern British, Irish, and postcolonial literatures as well as film studies. He is a regular contributor to The Cresset, writing film reviews. His upcoming Fall 2015 film course is EL 204: Film Noir and Hardboiled Lit, and this most recent article on Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice draws on several of the course themes and readings. Dr. Andrews’ in depth study of this genre can be seen in his recent review “Purple Haze: Paul Thomas Anderson Takes On Inherent Vice” published by The Cresset.

You can read the review here.

Rosie McFarland’s (’14) Video Series Meat & Potatoes Now on Spokane FAVS

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Congratulations to Rosie McFarland,’14, whose video series Meat & Potatoes was recently picked up by Spokane Faith and Values!  McFarland started the video series to address common questions people might have about Christianity in an informative and easy to understand way.

I started my YouTube channel (Lostbetweenthepages) in my junior year and loved working with video, but I saw a prevalence of atheistic bias in the YouTube community. The religious were criticized as being ignorant and judgmental, and so no religious people were given a chance (and admittedly there are some ignorant and judgmental people who claim to be religious on the internet). I wanted to bring in my own Christian perspective and answer questions that people might have about Christianity in an easy and informative way.

After quickly realizing that I would not have the expertise or the credibility to answer these questions on my own, I looked to our own Whitworth theology department. It took me a long time to gather the courage to ask some professors if they would be interested, but after I did, they seemed to think it was a great idea, so I started asking some pastors in the community as well.

I recorded some of their answers, created a backlog, and started posting them every Friday starting in January. I called the series “Meat & Potatoes” because as the tag-line says, “Just like we need real food, we need real questions.” While not getting a lot of views, there were a couple of discussions created around some of the videos.

A couple weeks ago, I approached Spokane Faith and Values, a non-profit website organization that creates discussions around different belief in the Spokane community. I asked if they would be interested in using any of my “Meat & Potatoes” videos on their website. In our meeting, they said they would want to make my video series an official part of their website, posting a video a week to facilitate discussions around the questions the professors and pastors were answering.

It officially started this week, posting my preface video on Monday on their website – welcoming me and my video series to Spokane FAVS. I was overjoyed to see my video project being welcomed into the community, and I am excited to see where all of this leads.

Link to the Spokane FAVS website post: http://spokanefavs.com/2014/03/31/meet-potatoes-video-series-coming-spokanefavs/

Link to the “Meat & Potatoes” playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg3kZ87agDQ-wBxHqbEutiZWIvN8Cgcr7

Next week I will be going to Haiti to film a mission trip with my home church while we build and work in a school there.

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Rosemary McFarland grew up in the mountains at a Christian summer camp before moving to the country. She says the beautiful surroundings made her fall in love with the outdoors. 

In her free time McFarland enjoys reading, making videos for her YouTube channel Lostbetweenthepages, and watching an unhealthy amount of television. She now attends Whitworth University and will graduate in May with a BA in English and a minor in theology. After raising money over the summer she will backpack around the UK, and then hopefully find a full time job somewhere in film.