The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Stadler Center hosts annual student reading

This past Thursday, I attended the annual student reading hosted by the Stadler Center at Bucknell Hall. The reading consisted of students who won two of the prestigious literary awards on campus: The Cadigan Prize for Younger Writers as well as the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize. The Cadigan Prize is judged by two recent contributors to West Branch, and the Smithson Prize is given to students whose dedication to sharing and making literature carries the spirit of Julia Smithson, a class of ’76 English major who died in an automobile accident at the age of 23. 

Personally, I find this event to be one of my favorites every year. As a writer, it’s always so inspiring to hear other students’ amazing work. The readers included Cadigan Prize winners Matthew Paddock ’24, Kim Hernandez ’27, Lyndon Beier ’27 and Rebecca Heintzelman ’24, and Smithson Prize winners Amber Cutler ’24 and Natasha Rawls ’25. While every single reader was great, I was particularly inspired by Heintzelman’s poetry. Heintzelman wrote a series of poems from the voice of Teddy Roosevelt. As someone who does not write poetry, I found this particularly intriguing. As writers, it is often beneficial to write outside of ourselves and I think that writing from the point of view of a former President.

I think that this event is one of the most important ways that we promote the literary community on campus. As someone who is involved in the literary community through the Creative Writing Club and Confetti Head, Bucknell’s student-run literary magazine, I have always had a passion and drive to help foster a vibrant literary community on campus. For me, the annual student reading also fits into that agenda. I regularly attend Stadler Center events and I saw a good number of new faces at the annual student reading. I think this is due to the fact that we not only have a supportive literary community on campus, but just a supportive community in general. A good amount of students attended the event to support their peers. I think this support is invaluable since it lets the students that are reading know that people want to hear their stories, hear their voice. As someone who takes great pride in Bucknell’s literary community, it was gratifying to see so many students in attendance supporting their fellow creative minds. 

I also found listening to each student’s stories insightful in other respects. Several of the readers wrote about very personal experiences and subject matters. For instance, Matthew Paddock wrote about his experiences visiting his family’s farm; Beier wrote personal poems about their experiences growing up. Currently, I am working on a novel that draws upon my own cultural experiences, so it was inspiring and insightful to see these students tell their own stories with such rawness and vulnerability. Furthermore, since the Cadigan Prize is a contest, I am inspired to submit my work next year since a little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

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Aaron Chin
Aaron Chin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor

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