Creative Writing Capstone Event


McKenny Hall Ballroom
April 14th at 6pm

Free and open to the public

With the winter semester coming to an end, Capstone approaches for our creative writing undergraduates. We have spent the past couple months organizing and preparing our projects for the event and will be preforming our creative pieces on April 14th in the McKenny Ballroom. The event will be a great opportunity to get a look into our creative writing program; there will be students performing poetry and prose, as well as mixed media projects. Please come out and support our writers.

The Capstone event will feature seventeen creative writers:

Eric Berry
Brian Clark
Meghan Endahl
Justin Fluellen
Ashley Gallaher
Ashleigh John
Jeremey Kazdan
Kasha Lovato
Adam Malinowski
Alyssa Martinez
Emma Mayhood
Hannah Overhiser
Isaac Pickell
Sean Ruona
Kristen Todd
LeeAnne Baumdraher


Amy Oleynik reviews Capstone Showcase

EMU student Amy Oleynik reviews the recent undergraduate Creative Writing Capstone showcase:

To the Beginning Creative Writer: The Capstone from a Reader’s Perspective

Capstone Reading, April 12th 2012

It’s been four vigorous years and it all comes down to one night. The graduating seniors of the Creative Writing program all come together to recite for you portions of their Capstone Project. This project is one they have been personally working on for the majority of their last semester, a project that is meant to reflect what they’ve acquired, gained and learned throughout their time in the program. I was one of these readers and I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the experience.

There were ten seniors lined up to present their works. With only five minutes for each performance, choosing your material to present was a nerve-wracking task. This was my first real reading. Of course I had presented pieces in class before, but I never was truly nervous of my audience’s reactions. Usually when given a time, it seems so long and you have to stretch your words to fill the space before you can wipe your brow and scuttle off stage. But in this moment, five minutes were barely a breath. What could I read that would sufficiently show my dedication and message? Luckily for me, I had written both short poetry and prose pieces. I was able to present a bit of each, though practicing beforehand made me even shakier.

As I sat in my room reciting to my houseplants, I realized each reading was completely different. I never emphasized the same words, I tried a different tone of voice or speed.  I’m not one for stage fright, but this performance meant more to me than others prior. This was the showcase of my hard spent time and ideas. I wanted to make it count.

My nerves were erased as I entered the Student Art Gallery. The space itself reflected what EMU is about, what we were a part of. Inventive, daring and ever varied. Our showcase was dynamic and multi-faceted. It revealed everything the Creative Writing program promoted and taught us, but it showed how we as individuals give life to the program.

Kylie read an excerpt from her mysterious and fantastical fiction piece. Jonah performed a series of poems that broke the fourth wall and reached out into the audience, asking you to inflect about where you call home. Elizabeth combined film making, appropriated music and narrative in a short film piece. Joseph performed a list poem interwoven with dialogue. David Chad used incredible word play and rhyme scheme to bring us a hilarious commentary on community and communication. Noah delivered a scene about Phoenix, asking us to take a journey through memory to find a final destination. Ian brought us a multi-genre approach in his video about the difficulties of the writing process, featuring many of the other Creative Writing students. Brenna led us through a complex fictional interview with the accompaniment of Elizabeth. And I shared with you moments of my grappling with today’s ideas of feminism.

From this performance alone showed what our program is all about. Collaboration, diverse genres, different backgrounds, attitudes and voices. We each brought something unique to share and invite you to step up to the podium when you are ready. There is a spot here for you.

Jessica Chrisekos reviews Capstone Showcase

EMU student Jessica Chrisekos reviews the recent undergraduate Creative Writing Capstone event:

EMU’s Creative Writing Capstone Event

EMU’s Creative Writing Capstone Event was filled with many talented writers, artists, friends, and family. The event, which took place in EMU’s Student Center Gallery, was a collection of student’s works over the course of the last two semesters.

I was one of the readers at this event, but it was interesting to see the different approaches each writer took for their Capstone Project. Many writers used poetry as a way to express their ideas and feelings. Some read from stories they had been working on, and others summed up their work in a short film. While every project was different, each writer delivered their piece with unfailing passion.

The Capstone Event was filled with many passionate writers, but it also reflected the wonderful professors that helped guide and shape students in the Creative Writing program over the last several years. The professors present at the event were Christine Hume, Carla Harryman, and Rob Halpern, all talented writers and speakers.

I am proud to say that after four years of enjoyable work in the Creative Writing program, I am graduating with not only a better understanding of myself and my own work, but that I’ve learned so much from my professors and fellow graduates. The Creative Writing program was truly a blessing, and all of the students had wonderful, inspiring work to show for it.

Andrew Rybarsyk reviews Capstone Showcase

EMU student Andrew Rybarsyk reviews the recent Creative Writing Capstone Showcase:

EMU Capstone

Last Thursday EMU held its annual Capstone Showcase, where EMU’s graduating seniors can showcase their work to each other as they prepare for graduation.  I attended to support all my friends as they showcase their work and to hear some good poetry.  The gallery was filled to capacity with supporters, so much so that many had to stand or sit in the back for the duration of the presentations.  The presentations themselves were very diverse; from poetry and prose, short stories, films, and a screenplay.  All were very exceptional and were brilliant examples of graduating students work.  Though some technical difficulties plagued the presentation in the beginning soon all problems were solved and the presentations continued without a hitch. 

I was a true fan of the poetry and prose done by and handful of students, each student’s piece was very different and emphasized a different fanatic feature of poetry so each was unique.  Some revolved around their childhood, families, and nature but all were spoken with a beautiful imagery that drew the audience into the piece and made the whole capstone worth watching.

The presented short stories were good though I had trouble with them being read outside of their context.  It felt as if I was dropped into the middle of a story and I didn’t really know how to make of it, they were very well written but from a story standpoint everything seemed jumbled.  This is from the fact that there wasn’t enough time to read an entire short story so a page or two had to be extracted from the piece and altered to make sense within a short time frame.   I would like to read the stories in their entirety so I can get the full story and not just a little teaser. 

By far my favorite piece presented was one that I couldn’t decide if it was a prose poem or a short story or a hybrid of both.  Though I noticed that it shared a similarity to Tan Lin’s work with atmospheric poetry, having words used as a background and providing an atmosphere.  The presented piece was about a family in a car driving to Phoenix, Arizona.  The story followed a loop where some information was recycled and mixed with new information while other bits were left out, forming an ever evolving circle of dialog that by the end you had a hard time remembering what had been said and all you knew was that the family was driving in a car and heading for Phoenix.  I found this remarkable and left me intrigued and wanting more. 

At the capstone there were two films shown, this got me very excited because I am a majoring in film at EMU.  I had forgotten that we were at a writing capstone so I was a little disappointed because they were films of the students reading their pieces to a film backdrop, similar to a music video.  This is not a bad thing, nor did it hurt my view of the pieces.  Sadly one of the films got cut short due to a technology issue and the second film was a dialog between the writer and his friend about how he had a writer’s block and the narration of his story he was trying to write was shown outside of the dialog.  Though I feel that the extended dialog between the two men were shot from two camera angles and was a bit dry.  As a suggestion if the author wasted to keep a dialog between two people he could have shot them moving or used different camera angles just to keep the audience interested during the exceedingly long dialog.

Overall I was very impressed by the work done by the graduating seniors at EMU.  Their work has inspired me to attempt working in different mediums of writing and to step outside of my comfort zone.  I wish only the best for them and their future work wherever it might take them.  I anxiously await next year’s Capstone presentation.