Author Archives: ad43

Rising Censorship Targeting Children’s and Young Adult Literature

by Regina Fuller

Book banning was a thing of the past. Something that you read about in the history books
while growing up. It doesn’t happen anymore. Right? Wrong. As of April 2022, book banning has risen once again, especially in southern states. One of the frequent targets is children’s (and young adult) literature, and the topics are almost always books written about black or LGBTQ+ characters. Why does this happen? Why is it happening again? Maus, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, that details his parents’ experiences surviving Nazi concentration camps, was banned in by a ten-member school board in McMinn

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Travel Writing: Exploring the World One Story at a Time

Navigating the world as a literary citizen; the importance of a travel journal.

by Daphne Xulu

Long before I became familiar with the term travel writing, I was captivated by stories of adventure and exploration; how a distant land, thousands of miles away, could come to life on a page. The word travel tickles my senses, and my already inquisitive mind wonders further to dreams of countries, cultures, and cuisine. The first book which brought my attention to the world of travel literature was Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. I was hooked. Who was this author who had traveled across America? Why did this piece of creative non-fiction unlock a burning desire for adventure? How did a country that I had yet to visit, seem so close to home?

When I was seventeen, I felt downtrodden like most teenagers do, and I left the UK in pursuit of a solo adventure to Nepal. I had spent months preparing and packing all the important things: sun cream, hiking trainers, documents, and handy bottles of mosquito repellent. Yet, I would’ve never guessed at the time, that the most important possession I could ever have brought with me was tucked away in the front pocket of my backpack –a cheap notebook. Every day for eight weeks I sprawled my adventures across the page, documenting the highs and the lows, friendships, and failures, fleeting moments and memories. I wanted to remember everything and in doing so I created a time portal, a story that authentically summarised two months in my seventeen-year-old life, a story of discovery and exploration.

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Crafting a Chapbook

Are you looking to take your next big step as a writer? Here are a few tips for making your mini collection of poetry.

By Jenna Murray

Throughout my time at SUNY Geneseo, I have grappled with the aspiration of creating a collection of my work that reflects how I have grown as a writer. After speculating the many ways I could present my work to my community, with the workload of an undergraduate student on my back, I decided the best avenue would be to write a chapbook. 

A chapbook is a small book containing ballads, poems, tales, or tracts. Historically, chapbooks were first introduced as an alternative to the expensive, inaccessible book of the late 16th century—these unbound books of 8-12 pages cost less than a penny to purchase. Though the same can not be said of contemporary chapbooks, the exact value of accessibility stands. No matter what kind of poet you are, no matter how far along in your poetic journey you are, you can easily create a chapbook to share with your peers. 

Through a directive study, which I decided to title “Crafting a Chapbook,” I read through contemporary chapbooks, analyzed the structure and critical poetic techniques within, and was able to create my very own 40-page chapbook by the end of the semester. 

For any writer looking to make their next big move throughout their poetic journey, creating a chapbook—whether it be 40 pages, 20-30 pages, or as small as ten pages—is a perfect window into the concept of the poetic collection. Whereas some chapbooks may be based around certain thematic elements, such as motherhood, or a series of specific events, many chapbooks do not need a firm structure and can function within spaces of lyricism and spontaneity alone. 

After gaining all this insight throughout the semester, I understood the production of a chapbook very well. Though there is no one way to create a chapbook, as creative pursuits such as this should not be defined by structure, I found my course plan extremely effective and wanted to share those steps below, should they help any poets in their future endeavors. 

No matter what it is you envision for your future poetic chapbook, there is a space for all creatives within contemporary poetry—so, please take these steps and tips with both an open mind and an awareness of what works for you! 

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