By Bri Cash
Two Tennessee Wesleyan College English students recently attended the 90th Anniversary Convention of collegiate English honor society Sigma Tau Delta where one of the students presented an original poem. TWC students Bri Cash and Koltin Thompson, were accompanied by Dr. Elizabeth Ruleman, TWC associate professor of English and chair of the department of English and foreign languages, to Savannah, Ga., where college English students gathered together at the convention and presented original fiction, poetry, critical essays, and personal non-fiction as well as attended workshops and roundtable discussions presented by Sigma Tau Delta members and guest experts.
“Nothing could be more important for young scholars and writers than to have a chance to present their work at a convention,” said Dr. Ruleman. “Our students shared with a thousand of their peers from other institutions, all of them having worked very hard just to have their work accepted and taking pride in their intellectual endeavors. For those going to graduate school, the convention gave them a taste of what their future will hold.”
The convention drew a large group of students and faculty from all over the United States. This year’s common reader was We the Animals by Justin Torres. Other convention speakers, in addition to Torres, were graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel, literary and film critic Daniel Mendelsohn, and novelist Gin Philips. Students submitted both critical and creative works months in advance for the convention. President of TWC’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, Koltin Thompson read his original poem “Glorious Appearing” to an appreciative audience.
At the opening ceremony, Thompson had the opportunity to meet author Alison Bechdel and had his copy of her book Fun Home signed. Afterward, Thompson and Cash both participated in reading poetry at an “Open Mic” event. Cash read her poem titled “On Lonely Nights Like These,” and Thompson read “Glorious Appearing.”