Clubs and Events

Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society.

Sigma Tau Delta's central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.

One of the largest members of the Association of College Honor Societies, Sigma Tau Delta has more than 600 active chapters, more than 900 faculty sponsors and inducts approximately 7,000 members annually. Members have the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding achievements, to enrich their education, to make career choices and advance their careers.

Sigma Tau Delta offers a wide array of scholarships, grants and awards and holds an annual convention that offers workshops, guest speakers and a chance to showcase your writing.

All students are eligible to join the Park University Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Eta Epsilon.

To be inducted into the International Sigma Tau Delta organization, students must have at least a B average in English courses. For more information, please contact Professor Stacey Kikendall and visit the International Sigma Tau Delta website.

The Scribe

The Scribe is a student journal of original creative work by Park University students. Published annually by the English department, the journal features poetry, artwork, photography, fiction and creative nonfiction from Park students of any academic major and from any campus center. Each year the submission, selection, editing and publication process is overseen by a group of dedicated editors and readers, with the editor-in-chief being selected by the advisor on a yearly basis. Any Park student interested in applying for a position on the Scribe staff should contact the journal’s faculty advisor, Professor Glenn Lester.

Poetry Out Loud

Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into the English class.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with State Arts Agencies of the United States to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

High school seniors first compete in their high schools. A maximum of 10 high school winners may next compete at the regional level, and regional champions compete at the state level.

State champions will receive a plaque, traveling trophy and an all-expense-paid trip (with two parents or chaperones) to Washington, D. C. for the national finals. The state champion’s school will keep the traveling trophy until the 2010 competition and will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for their school’s library. Similarly, the second-place school will receive $200 to purchase poetry books for their school’s library. All the finalists will receive award certificates. A total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded at the national finals. The national champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.

Park University serves as a site for the Regional Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition. We hope that you will help us celebrate the dramatic talent of our local high school seniors as they compete for the prestigious Poetry Out Loud Regional Champion title. Read all about this exciting competition at www.poetryoutloud.org.

Park University Ethnic Voices Poetry Series

Hear podcasts of poet interviews at New Letters on the Air.

The purpose of the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, begun in fall 2007, is to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges their preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own. Because all literature focuses on the human condition, a sharing of that literature promotes a sharing of ideas regarding the challenges, disappointments and celebrations of all people, and the written and verbal expression of emotions that those activities promote.

Poetry's roots grow deep in an ancient spoken tradition, representing the earliest literature. Today's familiar written poetry tradition continues to fascinate us, due to the inherent artistic beauty of its language; however, too few are able to hear the poet speak that language. Poetry represents a rich revelation of our own human nature, thus drawing us into its magic. Eighteenth-century British poet Alexander Pope explained of Homer that his poetry attracted others to pursue his "Walk of Art," as he compared poetry to a garden. The garden contains seeds that poet artists cultivate into living words of beauty. Poetry is not just words deposited on a page or thrown out into the wind. Those words arrive at a perfection due to what Pope terms "the Strength of this amazing Invention," referring to the process poetry takes in the poet's mind as art stewards that process. Our series will allow poets with vastly different "gardens" to share their cultivations with diverse audiences.

A journey into poetry composed by one from another heritage, such as the poets in our Series, represents a new experience for its audience. Through such new experience the human mind may grow and expand, perhaps discovering its own means of Invention to produce its own type of art. Because, as Pope notes, a superior poet draws on "all the inward Passions and Affections of Mankind" to create, the results spark recognition in others who hear his or her art. Poetry remains unique in that one need not understand the literal meaning of each term or reference in order to benefit. Its artistic quality also lies in its rhythm, its arrangement of sounds in a pleasing manner to the ear. That aspect of quality comes to life with the poet's voice.

Poetry begs to be voiced, not simply read in silence from the page. If the listener recognizes a theme in a poem, all the better, but its art is not diminished if the allusions simply move a listener to experience pleasure or puzzlement. The viewer's reaction defines art as art, and spoken poetry draws reactions. Thus, the artistic components constitute the whole of this series, as individual poets constitute its components.

For additional information contact Virginia Brackett.

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