City Honors Creative Writing Department

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Professor Michael Jayme

The city of Riverside and the Riverside Arts Council recognized the Creative Writing Department on Tuesday, January 18th for its cultural contribution to the city. Mayor Ron Loveridge and Executive Director of the Arts Council, Ellen P. Estilai, honored the department for its collaborative efforts in hosting Writer’s Week. The award was accepted on behalf of the department by Creative Writing faculty and Writer’s Week Coordinator, Professor Michael Jayme.

Presently, UCR Writer’s Week is the longest running literary conference of its kind, having been hosted annually at UCR for the past 28 years. Professor Jayme noted that January’s award is not just an honor for the Director of this year’s Writer’s Week, but is also an “honor for the entire department, both faculty and staff” as well as “past directors of the event, such as current Creative Writing Professors Simon, Straight, and Buckley.”

Professor Jayme noted some of the features that make Writer’s Week unique. He observed that Writer’s Week is “diverse in the people that it attracts, both writers and students.” He also believes that it gives people a “unique experience” because they are able to interact with authors as “real people.”

Furthermore, Professor Jayme suggests that the experience of Writer’s Week is not solely confined to the events of the week because undergraduate courses also explore the works of the guest authors, giving students the rare opportunity to discuss the texts with the authors themselves. In addition, Writer’s Week allows students and faculty to “broaden their horizons” and become exposed to genres and authors that they may not have been exposed to otherwise.

Professor Jayme pointed out that “learning does not stop” because of age or any other factor, and Writer’s week offers everyone a chance to continue to be exposed to literature and to learn about the process of writing.

This year’s Writer’s Week was hosted at UC Riverside from February 8 th -12 th. Scheduled events included an appearance by Davey Rothbart, creator of Found Magazine, who cut short his 50-state tour to appear at the event. Tuesday, February 8 th, Professor Buckley moderated a prose poem panel, in which three poets discussed various aspects of poetry. Readings by authors representing a wide array of genres also took place throughout the week.

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