Literary Open Mic Night showcases written works

Ashley Cope, Reporter

On Feb. 25, 2022 at 6 p.m. the California Lutheran University English Departmental Assistants hosted another Literary Open Mic at Jacks Corner outside of Starbucks. This event was for all students, english and non-english majors, to present their work to their peers.

“We like to hear everyone’s perspectives no matter what field of study they are in and we encourage that,” Tenchi Wells, an English Department Assistant said before the event started.

A microphone and speaker were set up under the lights allowing guests to gather around the fire to watch their peers share their works, while drinking hot chocolate.

Riley Civerolo Douglas, another English Department assistant, collected the names of people who wanted to share and started off the event reading some of her own work, titled “Cowboys,” which she wrote for her Shakespearean Literature Class.

“People get to see a lot of different versions of me; they get to see me if I am just in one of their classes or on stage with improv, but most people don’t get to see your Google Docs – where you are writing things about themes and things you think are interesting and it’s another way to see a person,” Civerolo Douglas said.

Many different topics were addressed during the Literary Open Mic, including a reading of “Flowers” by Robert Frost and “The Queens Prayer” by Queen Lili’uokalani read in both English and Hawaiian. The event went from poems about love, anxiety, and monkeys, to someone showing what was in their burger from The Habit Burger Grill.

Students continued to share their work, including more poetry, papers written for classes, and short stories with the crowd. About half way through the event, the English D.A.’s remind everyone about the English Department Writing Awards and their Literary Magazine, The Morning Glory.

The English Department Writing Awards are open to all majors, and features a $1000 prize for poetry, $500 prize for best English-111 composition for the Morning Glory, $500 dollar prize for best written work in literary prose in fiction, nonfiction, or drama, and $100 prize for best literary criticism paper.

“I won the prose award in my sophomore year for a piece called ‘Amen’ and first of all it is very nice to get the monetary prize and I think especially for an English Creative Writing major, where what I want to do is write, to get that first moment of ‘hey your piece got chosen and we are paying you for it’ is amazing,” Civerolo Douglas said.

The Morning Glory is published every spring with students’ work. This semester’s theme is “Connections” and submissions are open until March 7.

“We are accepting any writing poetry or prose, any audio submissions, any video submissions, any photography and any visual art so anyone from any department can submit and we will be compiling all the best from everyone on campus and publishing it,” English D.A., Isabella DePhillipo said.

The night ended with Wells reading “Birches” by Robert Frost, a Literary Open Mic night tradition to end the night, started by Civerolo Douglas

“She read it to end the night on the first open mic, and it hit a cord so we decided that we’d have someone read it at the end of each open mic night. I guess after tonight we are calling it Birching,” DePhillipo said.

The English Department plans on doing Literary Open Mic nights around the last Friday of every month at Jacks Corner. Submissions for the English Department Writing Awards can be emailed to eng[email protected]. The deadline to submit work is March 15.