English Society searches for poets with contest



Professor Roberta Eisel (left) and Lisa Telesca (center left) pose with students (from left to right) Rebecca Kuhlman, Andrew Kleger, Emily Hermosillo, and Viridianna “Viri” Gomez for a picture while on a trip to the Huntington Library on April 13. (Courtesy; Andrew Kleger)

The English Society will reveal the finalists for its poetry contest May 19 in the Campus Center.

The ceremony, part of the Poem Festival event, will include refreshments and games and is open to everyone. Finalists will be given the opportunity to recite their poems during the festival.

Language arts and English Professor Eun Kang said the first-place winner will receive a $100 reward. Second place will receive a $50 reward and third will receive college memorabilia courtesy of the Owl Bookshop.

These students are a part of the English Society, a new club created to provide guidance from English faculty for English majors.

The contest is the first of what the society hopes to be an annual event.

English major Andrew Kleger has been with the society since fall 2015 when the club was founded after students and faculty decided they wanted to continue holding meetings that provided all-around improved insights for English students.

“The contest will help people discover that poetry is a more artistic way to express themselves instead of, say, through a Twitter rant,” Kleger said.

Kang, who is a part of the English Society, said she believes the contest will allow students to have their voices heard and could possibly generate interest in the English major.

Kang said the main theme of the poem contest was identity, because it creates an image for students who have submitted work.

Kang said a lot of students get intimidated when they see poetry.

“Only a small amount of students write (poetry) but the vast majority prefer to write short stories and things of that nature,” she said.

However, Kang believes modern poetry is not quite as structured as it used to be.

“In the past, English poetry was structured with certain rhyme adherence to meter and rhyme,” Kang said. “However, the majority of poems these days use free verse.”

She said she hopes the club will help foster a literary atmosphere at Citrus, because of the large amount of writers Citrus has.

English and language arts instructor Roberta Eisel, who is among faculty who collaboratively support the club, said the English Society was based on identifying and nurturing students interested in the field of English and literature.

“We wrote ourselves an objective to host a reception for students where we would share ideas about education and careers where an English or literature major could be beneficial,” Eisel said.

The group is student-run, with no leader.

Students are mentored from a group of five faculty members including Eisel and Kang.

Kang said Citrus administrators from top to bottom have played a big role in helping the English Society.

“The Citrus College community really is, really supportive of the students and they’re really trying to get them to be creative and just voice through,” Kang said.

Kang said the English Society applied for a College Completion grant through the Citrus College Foundation, which will help the club with recognize first- and second-place winners.

Eisel, who will be a part of the evaluation process in the contest, said students looking to be a part of the English Society are encouraged to contact her, Lisa Telesca, Eric Odegaard or other faculty instructors.

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