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NW Passage Expression through words:

Students and faculty share their original written work with a supportive audience

By Nathaniel Dunaway | Freelancer
On June 4, 2012

On Thursday, May 24, students and faculty alike were given the opportunity to present their very own works of creative writing before an audience. From short stories to poems, the Northwest Passage's Open Mic Night opened the door for writers of all ages to express themselves through their work.

"This is the second Open Mic Night we have had this year," said Erica Welch, coordinator of the event and editor of Western's Northwest Passage, a literary publication created to provide students with an outlet wherein they can submit pieces of their own writing. "I am hosting the event in a hopes of connecting people that want to express themselves through words," Welch added.

Last week's, and the event that preceded it were the only open readings to have been held by the Northwest Passage in an estimated five years. The event drew the attention of nearly 25 students, and of those who attended, stepped up to the podium to present their writing.

Some readers were students whose work had been published in the most recent issue of the Northwest Passage. Others were presenting work that had not yet been seen or heard by anyone but themselves.

"[I am] trying to give those that published in the Passage another stage for their work," said Welch, "though anyone from campus is allowed to attend and present." The body of presenters at the open mic included English, art, theatre and music majors, primarily.

The range of work shown and recited at the Open Mic Night was wide, from short stories to poems to comic book excerpts, songs and sections from larger and longer pieces of fiction, writing in many of its forms was represented. The work that took precedent, however, was poetry.

With titles such as "Death," "The Painter as a Sparrow," "Drinking into a Coma," "Letting My Boyfriend Read My Poems" and "If You Were Turned into a Bug," poems of varying length, topic, theme, intensity and depth were recited by their authors, some of which appeared confident, others nervous. In the end, all of those who presented were received by a round of supportive applause.

"I want to show our students how many of their fellow classmates enjoy some of the same things they do and gather a group of people to celebrate writing in any form," said Welch, who will continue to serve as the editor of the Northwest Passage through fall term of the next academic year.

Many of the poems, short stories and songs presented at the Open Mic Night can be seen in the most recent issue of the Northwest Passage, which can be found at any Western Journal location on campus.

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