Wednesday, December 3, 2014

OU-C collaborates with community for writing seminar, reading of works from area military veterans

OU-C adjunct English instructor John Mitchell recently conducted a writing seminar and reading for military veteran writers. The event was truly a campus-community collaboration and was held in conjunction with the Pump House Art Gallery’s “Combat Paper Exhibit.”

More than a dozen local veterans submitted manuscripts, and more than 30 community members gathered for the event. Fellow adjunct faculty member Karen Patterson, a renowned author, also gave a reading of her work, and there was collaboration from individuals at the local VA Medical Center, including Dr. “Pete” Peterson, a psychologist who read some material from a therapeutic writing seminar he conducts.

“The audience was larger than I had expected, given the short notice, and they were quite attentive and very enthusiastic,” Mitchell said. “The pieces read complemented one another quite well.  After the event, I was approached by several members of the audience who expressed how interesting and moving the entire presentation had been.  I want to thank the Pump House Staff for their hospitality and providing the venue for the readings, which made a most appropriate companion event to their own Combat Paper exhibit.”

Mitchell said he hopes to organize a similar event in the spring.

“This was an excellent reading. I was honored to hear stories and poetry written and shared with such humor, wit, and depth of emotion in the work,” said OU-C English faculty member Debra Nickles, who is also the OU-C Student Success Center coordinator. “We are hoping this might lead to similar creative endeavors in the future.”

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