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English speakers teach their craft

By Alex Guerra

Any English majors out there? Any writers or poets willing to hear first-hand experience from a writer? Well, the English Speaker Series is for you! This event goes on every semester and is hosted by the English Department. These events generally feature several notable faces in the publishing and writing industry, from authors like Marsha de la O of “Antidote for Night” to publisher of Rare Bird Books, Tyson Cornell. Any writer eager to get their feet wet in the world of publishing and become an author should check this event out.

Run by English Chair Sean Carswell, The CI View recently reached out to him for further information on this amazing opportunity. “Since I started here fifteen years ago, I was bringing readers in, readers from around the world to read their work,” said Carswell. “About six years ago, I decided, well, why don’t I make it a series and bring in three to four writers a semester and have them speak.”

It’s scary to read our writing out in public, but life is better when you are a little scared.


Sean Carswell

Carswell is a writer himself, stating how along his journey he’s met various authors and publishers. As it goes with the world of literature, it can be hard to get your name out there. So for any aspiring writers or poets it can be beneficial to meet someone in their field, especially if they can create a connection that could help them in the long run. With this speaker series offering amazing writers, poets and even publishers to come and speak with the students, it can really help any writers or poets looking to get some insight into the business.

“Well, for one thing, if you’re a writer it’s good to get out there and perform your stuff. We have open mics here. I know the English Club does open mics and so does the Writing Center,” said Carswell. Any of these would provide students with a great opportunity to get their work out there, to let their voices be heard and to connect with like-minded writers and poets.  Although it may be easier said than done, it can be refreshing to meet others in the industry, to hear from them firsthand how it works and what to do. It all comes down to the connections and information you get from seasoned literarians. “It’s scary to read your writing out in public, but life is better when you are a little scared,” said Carswell. “To get out and hear someone tell you a story. It’s invigorating.”

We all have a story waiting to be told, and through an encouraging community, we are able to achieve this. For anyone interested, the English Speaker Series began last month  on Mar. 26 with Claudia Reder and Mary Kay Rummel speaking about Claudia’s book, “How to Disappear”. It will continue with a retrospective of Bob Mayberry at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Apr. 9 in Malibu Hall 140. The series will wrap up with English Chair Sean Carswell and poet James Jay celebrating the release of their books, Jay’s “Barman” and Carswell’s “Dead Extra”, at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday May 2  in Del Norte 1500. All are welcome, and there is much to be enjoyed from this series!

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