The Literary Way
a newsletter for Xavier University of Louisiana's English majors, minors, and honors students
A Spanish Adventure
By Akia Jackson, English Major
Last semester I studied abroad in Granada, Spain. As an English major and history minor, I wanted to go to a country that had an interesting history that made an impact upon their literature both socially and historically. So when I initially decided to do study abroad, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go to an English-speaking country or if I wanted to become immersed in a country where I did not know the language. I eventually decided on the latter because it would be an incredibly new experience and would challenge me intellectually. It was one of the best decisions I could have made for my college career, because I learned a new language without much formal instruction and was able to learn from absorbing the culture in Spain. Granada is a beautiful city, and throughout my study abroad experience I became conversational in the Spanish language even though I did not know any Spanish when I arrived in the country. During my time in study abroad I was able to travel to different cities within Spain as well as outside of the country; that enhanced the cultural experience overall. I was able to meet and connect with students from other programs, who I made lasting friendships with beyond my study abroad program. I loved how wonderful the city of Granada is because it is filled with intermingling cultures from all over the world such as Moroccan, Spanish and Asian, that make the city an intercultural standout. In short, I would recommend study abroad for everyone, because for me it was and unforgettable experience filled with amazing memories that will stay with me forever.
More Writers Among Us!
Many of our new first-year students majoring in English at Xavier are talented creative writers. Mateeka Quinn and Maya Clark are two shining examples. Here's a sample of their work...
A Wandering Eye
By Mateeka Quinn (to the left; pictured with a friend)
Lake Tyson held her fourth watercolor exhibition at the L.A. County High School for the Arts, and pretended to forget to invite her boyfriend. To prepare for her 7:00 showing, she'd been in the corridors of her alma mater even before the students left, hauling in canvases draped over with cut-up bed sheets.
She ignored Ken's text, and let herself be distracted with all the setup, the conversations with her old teachers, who--by some unfortunate chance--hadn't forgotten her story.
It wasn't that she didn't want to see him. It was just that, if he came, Kaydence inevitably would, and the thought of her was hard enough, particularly after the last time they'd spoken. Her stomach sank at just the memory of how she'd acted: crying, confessing, and recounting the dream she'd had...
Her new collection was called "Spaceships," in reference to a vague Kanye West song that Ken didn't get at first.
"It's because I'm white, isn't it?" he'd said when she explained the idea to him and his sister on the evening, three months ago, that Kaydence got her tattoo.
"Well Kaydence got it, didn't you?"
She'd nodded, her eyes shut tight. The needle buzzed along her ribcage as she sat, mostly topless, straddling the leather chair.
"I'm gonna model for her," she'd said in her soft smoker's voice.
"I really want to go urban-street-sci-fi with this collection, you know?" The artist dipped for more ink. "Abandoned buildings, kids in hoodies and fitted caps staring up at UFO's covered in graffiti... I mean, that's what it feels like for us right now, doesn't it? Everything's up in the air, foreign, the world as we know it is changing?some people think it might even be coming to an end soon."
"YOLO," she muttered.
Ken fingered the stud in his bottom lip with his mouth open and eyebrows scrunched, his mind in another place.
"Wait?you mean, like, naked modeling?"
By Maya Clark
I couldn't tell at first glance whether the last few years had been kind to Meredith. What was she supposed to look like to me? When she opened the door, I realized I had no women her age to compare her to. Despite not having seen her in six years, as far as maternal, motherly figures go, Meredith was it for me. And I didn't know how to make sure she was okay.
I remembered how she looked when I packed my bags and fled to college. Sad. At the time, Meredith was probably the saddest person I had ever known. So sad she didn't want to eat, but also so sad she became consumed with eating. Consumed with making sure everyone had enough to eat. That was normal then though.
What was normal now?
Meredith opened the door and I analyzed her and I could see her analyzing me, trying to make sure I was up to par with what she could only assume other twenty-four-year-olds looked like. We had no idea who the other was anymore and it hurt.
When she pulled me into her arms like I was a little kid again, I let her. I needed it. I needed to feel something familiar. Meredith pushed me away from her, but kept a firm grip on my arms. She wanted to view me. Not in the awkward way we had done before. It wasn't out of fear that we were looking at another person we loved dearly withered away to nothing. It was an act of love and affection for an old friend. The palms of her hands were very smooth and they caressed my face, probably as new to her as it was familiar. read more...
And Speaking of Writers...
The English and Creative Writing faculty at Xavier believe that the best teachers of writing are themselves active writers, so they continue to be productive with their own work—publishing essays, stories and poems in journals around the world. Here's what they've done (so far) in 2012.
- Dr. Nicole Greene (our chair) has a major article, "An Enthusiast: Edith ?. Somerville's Novel of the Irish War of Independence, Its Reception and Composition," in New Hibernia Review.
- Dr. Oliver Hennessey presents "Among the Academics: W. B Yeats and 'West British' Shakespeare in the Irish Literary Revival"—in The South Carolina Review.
- Dr. David Lanoue has an essay, "Beauty-Loving Animals in the Haiku of Issa," in Kado: Calea Poeziei (Romania), and his short stories, "Miss April" and "George," appear in Bottle Rockets.
- Dr. Biljana Obradovic has published poetry in The Korean International Poetry Anthology and Pound and the Imagists at Brunnenburg. She has also translated poems by John Gery into Serbian for Serbian magazines.
- Hannah Baker Saltmarsh had a poem appear in Antioch Review.
- Anya Groner published poems in Everyday Genius and The Volta, along with a short story, "The Gorilla and The Protégé," which appeared in the Carolina Quarterly.
- Katheryn Krotzer Laborde had a piece of creative nonfiction come out in The Southern Journal of Linguistics.
- Dr. Bonnie Noonan has published an essay, "Love in the Composition Classroom," in the Louisiana English Journal.
- Dr. Robin Runia, our newest faculty member, published two essays this year: "'The breeches are my own, henceforth I'le rant': The Widdow Ranter and Cross-Dressed Politics" in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research, and "Enlightenment Revelations: Shakers' Spiritual Sense" in the Journal of South Texas English Studies. She also had a review essay in the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies.
And books...! This year, faculty of Xavier's English Department have published five books.
- Dr. Biljana Obradovic published a bilingual English-Serbian poetry collection, Little Disruptions/Mali Poremecaji, and she translated Dear Friends/ Dragi Prijatelji by Patrizia De Rachewiltz.
- Katheryn Krotzer Laborde published her book, The Story behind the Painting: Frederick J. Brown?s The Assumption of Mary at Xavier University.
- Dr. David Lanoue published a novel, Frog Poet.
- And Mr. Ralph Adamo helped to edit John Stoss's Whatever Passes for Love is Love—and wrote the book's introduction.
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The Literary Way is edited by Dr. David G. Lanoue of the Xavier University English Department. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org