Why did junior English major Gregory Bates submit a story for the 2002 edition of Words & Images?
“It was a logical step,” he said. “A little affirmation of your creative work is always good.”
Words & Images is an annual collection of writings and art by USM students, faculty and regional artists. This release of the journal is supported by Celebrate Writers, an annual creative writing festival, as well as USM creative writing students.
Literary Editor Amy Cemodanovs said the book varies in subject matter from humorous to personal.
“They’re all really different from each other,” she said.
Words & Images staff also hold a literary contest for the three genres of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Bates won for fiction with his story called “A Father’s Covenant.”
“It’s about a divorced single father dealing with the loss of his 8-year-old daughter who died in his arms after a car accident,” he said. “(It’s about) discovering strength and resurrecting oneself even in the worst times of despair.”
The journal welcomes submissions not only from students but also faculty and area artists.
Assistant Professor of English Shelton Waldrep submitted a poem. His piece, “The Highway Out of Town,” describes the mixture of emotions he felt when deciding to leave the South for the Northeast.
Several of Waldrep’s students have been published in the journal and he said he felt it was important to make his contribution.
“It’s a great advertisement for creative writing at USM.” Waldrep also praised the visual art in the journal. “The book is as visually impressive as it is literature wise,” he said.
The collection includes an interview with author Dennis Lehane, who will be teaching in the Stone Coast MFA program this summer at USM. Clint Eastwood’s production company is adapting Lehane’s book “Mystic River” for the big screen.
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week Words & Images, and Celebrate Writers, will hold readings.
On Tuesday creative writing students from introductory through 300-level writing classes will present work not in the publication. Each class selected students to represent their group’s collective writings.
The readings will consist of 15 sections including poems, short stories and excerpts from fiction.
Also on Tuesday night, the first and second place winners from Words & Images will read their pieces.
Wednesday night will conclude Celebrate Writers with USM faculty members reading their own poetry and fiction.
Festival organizer and Professor of English Dennis Gilbert urges everyone to “come out and absorb some local culture.”
“This is the one time, besides performing arts, students are able to see what other students are doing.”
Staff Writer Nicolette Harding can be contacted at: [email protected]