Undergraduate Capstone 2021

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We are thrilled to present the Capstone Projects of Four Emerging Writers. Join us in recognizing the achievements of our Spring 2021 undergraduate writers!

Madalyn Brown, M. Ottenbreit, Claire Schallhorn and Louie Watkins, have all been studying with Professor Rob Halpern during the Winter 2021 Semester. Their work in Creative Writing, represented in Virtual Celebration by readings and media pieces, can be viewed on our Instagram Channel, with the IGTV platform. You don’t need an IG account to enjoy these pieces.

Thank you for joining Creative Writing @ EMU in congratulating our graduates!

Madalyn Brown is a fourth year student at Eastern Michigan University, double majoring in creative writing and media studies and journalism. For her Capstone Project, she has written a series of personal essays titled “Non-Local Consciousness of Near-Death Experiences,” which is written in prose and list form.

Madalyn writes:










Madalyn Brown in a recent photo. Follow this link to enjoy Brown’s Reading.

“The personal essays follow my journey around mental and physical illnesses I live with every day and how having repeated colon infections and COVID-19 this year have changed how I think and feel about specific aspects about my life and life in general. The piece I’ll be reading is titled “The Form of Un-,” which is a transformative piece starting with self-harm until reaching social transformation and healing. “

M Ottenbreit shares their project “Eggs,” and this anecdote:

“When I was in fourth grade, for career day, I wore my dad’s tweed jacket with a name tag that said “author” in big letters. Almost a decade later, I am close to a degree in 2D Design and Creative Writing. I can confidently say I am an artist and a writer who is mentally ill and queer. My recent writing has been directed towards autobiographical poetry and prose on subjects of life as a queer person in America, not just the pain of it but the joy of it as well. Eggs explores themes of body dysmorphia, trans love, loss, and the modern coming out.”

They can be found on social media on twitter and Instagram with these handles.
Twitter: @mirlinbluee; Instagram: @mirlinblue. Below, M’s artwork represents their project, “Eggs.”

Enjoy M’s piece here.

Claire Schallhorn‘s project “Vukovich Verisimilitude” explores and questions the nature of heritage and the effects it has on family dynamics. Of her Capstone piece, Claire writes:

“To do this, I use a mixture of both prose and verse poetry. Poetry, for me, has become a space to safely question and explore my confusion on the notion of heritage. Prose on the other hand, has become a place for me to ground my thoughts and reflect. Many of my prose pieces look back on how my process and research this semester impacted my writings as well as myself. I also wanted to include in my presentation images of where I grew up alongside my pieces dealing with family relationships to further explore what heritage means to me.”









Claire Schallhorn in a recent photo.

Enjoy Claire’s Capstone Project Here.

Louie Watkins has always found himself to have a peculiar relationship with the objects that surround him, and has decided to explore and examine this relationship through his capstone project, simply titled Objects. Utilizing both prose and poetry, Louie pokes at the knicknacks, memorabilia, tools, and all else that occupies his space, discovering the ways in which they affect him, and how he affects them in turn. 

Outside of the Capstone project, Louie will be graduating this spring with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Entertainment Design & Technology, will continue writing, and will continue to collect.










This still life depicts some of Louie Watkin’s Collections.

Enjoy his Capstone video here.