KOKOMO, Ind. — Words on the page came to life, read by the authors and scholars who wrote them, at the annual Field Live! Event.
In front of a crowd filling the Union Street Art Gallery, Indiana University Kokomo students shared the poems, short stories, and scholarly research published in the second volume of Field: A Journal of Arts & Sciences.
Hearing the work has a different impact than reading it, and adds to the experience.
“Especially with poetry, just hearing the words, and hearing them with the inflection and pauses the author intended, makes it so much more powerful,” said Matt Fuller, managing editor of the forthcoming third edition, which is now accepting submissions.
“We love giving students the opportunity to showcase their work, and sharing it with the public,” he said.
In addition to listening to readings, those attending viewed artwork published in the journal, displayed on the walls, and could converse with the artists who created it.
For Brandon Wysong and Tabitha Pelgen, the live event gave them a chance to talk about bird habitat research they completed for an ornithology class, which was included in the current publication.
“It’s a nice forum to share what you’ve learned,” said Wysong. “We’re both amateur birders, and we put a lot of time going into the woods, collecting data, writing up our results, and publishing them. It’s exciting to talk about what we learned, with people not in the science field.”
Both of them have presented at scientific conferences before, and appreciated the chance to show their fellow students what they’ve done.
“I’ve never had anything published before, so this is exciting to me,” she said.
Faith Renken was nervous to read her poem in front of the crowd, but was pleased so many people came to support the artists.
“For us to have all these events reaching out to the community and showing the work being created here, is a great opportunity,” she said. “It was awesome to see so many readers participating, and so many people coming to support them.”
These presentations bring the creative and scholarly process to life, said Rachel Blumenthal, assistant professor of English, who serves as editor-in-chief for the publication. They also allow the writers to provide background and context for their work.
For example, Mary Ade explained the title of her three-line poem, “Kintsugi,” which is the Japanese tradition of repairing broken ceramics with gold seams, before reading it.
“Hearing the collective emotional response of the audience after her piece, as well as some of the other readings, tapped into the performative element of literature that helps bond us as a community,” Blumenthal said.
Audience members also liked hearing background on the research process, as scholars discussed their work.
“Field Live gives a chance to share dimensions of our work that aren’t always apparent on the printed page,” she said. “It reminds us that writing and art is about speaking, as well as listening, to our communities.”
Field: A Journal of Arts & Sciences, is IU Kokomo’s peer-reviewed student journal, meant to inspire dialogue across academic disciplines. It is published during the spring semester.
Submissions are now being accepted for Volume 3, to be published this spring. The student editorial board considers art, design, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, and research papers for publication.
For more information, go to iuk.edu/field.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana