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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

NMU Lightkeeper holds creative reading

The crowd chattered lightly as seats in a small University Center room filled with 25 supportive and courageous students waiting to hear friends read written pieces or share their own work.

A student nearby laughed and muttered to her friend, “Remember that time I wrote a poem and it didn’t suck?”

If this event needed a motto, it may have been this.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the Lightkeeper literary magazine put on their third annual Creative Writing Showcase.

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The staff worked hard to provide an encouraging environment for individuals to break boundaries and read their writing to an audience.

The Lightkeeper, NMU’s undergraduate literary magazine, publishes non-fiction, fiction, poetry and other work submitted by NMU students on a graduate and undergraduate level, from students at other colleges and even from non-students in multiple other countries.

Senior theatre major Katherine Marsh works as the social media editor for the magazine. She described the event as a different outlet to get students interested in pursuing creative paths.

“We thought it would be interesting to showcase writings on campus. It’s one thing to have it on a website, but it’s another thing to have an interactive experience with the authors,” Marsh said.

The eight-member staff changed the name of the showcase from the Biannual Celebration for Undergraduate Creativity to better reflect NMU as a whole, rather than a focus on the students.

The event featured two students, junior English writing major Jason Chenette and the Lightkeeper’s web editor Tyler Harris, a graduate student studying psychology.

Harris started the event with an excerpt from his sci-fi novel. He told the audience he drew inspiration from what he didn’t like about the genre, specifically how extraterrestrial beings always had the better technology and equipment, yet the human race always won.

Harris expressed that he was happy to be taking part in such a supportive atmosphere.

“Writing is such an individualized art form, so it can be difficult to find a group of people who are also writers and are willing to support each other,” Harris said.

Chenette started with a disclaimer about allergies affecting his reading voice. Even so, “Infancy of a Night Fall,” which he described as a short story about a girl riding her bike along a flooding shoreline, captured the attention of the entire audience.

“The showcase was a great opportunity to share my writing with an interested audience,” Chenette said. “The Lightkeeper did an awesome job arranging the event, and I’m grateful for the opportunity they gave me.”

The rest of the evening was dedicated to an open-mic styled format that allowed audience members to read their own pieces. A few writers stood out amongst the several who gave it a shot.

A girl from the fourth row took a deep breath at the podium and announced this was her first time ever reading to anyone but herself. Her piece, “Walking and Talking,” earned the praise of the Lightkeeper’s editor-in-chief Irene McCauley, who later approached the writer about publishing it.

An excited student from the front row recited two previously published works and a new one. His voice remained calm and steady as he read about growing up and falling in love. On the very last line of his last piece, he made direct eye contact with what seemed like everyone in the room at the same time.

Another audience member stood a distance from the podium with his hands in his pocket as he read an emotionally charged memorial poem. The crowd awed as he finished, anxious to hear his second poem. As luck with school laptops would have it, his battery died before he could try reading again.

A girl from the ever-popular fourth row read her poems with a confident tone, clearly exemplifying her practice of public speaking.

On her way out, she touched base with the girl who had never read at an event before, telling her it gets easier with practice and to not give up.

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