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Over the years students have organized groups to independently pursue literary interests with their peers. Students are encouraged to keep their eyes open for events that interest them and to suggest literary outings.
Here are examples of recent and popular projects:
In the wake of September 11, faculty and students have met regularly to discuss how world events are changing the terms of their work. A coordinating group of students decides the shape of each meeting. Students and faculty share their own work or the work of others. These gatherings also provide the opportunity to discuss issues facing writers in these times, from both professional and personal viewpoints. The "For the Gathering" meetings led to the publication of an anthology of student staff and faculty writing. A copy of For the Gathering can be found in the campus library.
The Reading Circle was suggested and organized by students wanting an opportunity to talk intimately with visiting writers about their work and process. One student organizes and leads interested students in a study of the work of the visiting Reading Series author. After the public reading the students have dinner with the writer to continue the conversation.
Lumina, the graduate Sarah Lawrence College literary magazine, is dedicated to the publication of original creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, and is staffed entirely by student-volunteers. Students are encouraged to submit their work for publication, or join the staff to learn the details of small magazine publishing, from editing to production.
If Freedom Had Wings
This group of fiction, poetry and nonfiction students organized events exploring issues related to writing and the writer's life. Their goal was to create a dialogue that examined the interconnected social and cultural contexts for writing. Panels of faculty and students were organized around specific topics, which included "Writing and Spirituality," "Writing and Exile" and "Writing and Aging." One of the most exciting aspects of these events was the high level of interaction between faculty and students, and between panelists and audience. Any student could join the group and help plan events.
The Topics in Creative Nonfiction
This series was suggested by a creative nonfiction graduate student who thought it would be useful for students to have access to faculty members outside of workshops who would share their experience related to writing and publishing nonfiction. In the past, faculty have met with nonfiction students to discuss research techniques, the use of fiction techniques in nonfiction, aspects of publishing and other issues connected to the writer's professional life. Speakers have included Hector Feliciano, Fenton Johnson, Mary Morris, Noelle Oxenhandler, Susan Orlean and Judith Schulewitz.