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"Polaris" staff members joined other literary journals in annual Winter Wheat festival

A select group of

A select group of "Polaris" staff members attended the annual Winter Wheat festival this weekend at Bowling Green State University. (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long)

Members of Ohio Northern University’s undergraduate student literary journal, “Polaris,” attended writing workshops, listened to the poetry of professional writer Tarfia Faizullah, and participated in a book fair at the annual Mid-American Festival of Writing, Winter Wheat, hosted at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), on November 14.

Winter Wheat is one of the Midwest’s largest literary festivals, attracting staff members from university literary journals in Ohio, New York, Missouri, and Kansas.

"I really enjoyed Winter Wheat, because it was both fun to go with ‘Polaris,’ and nice to get to hear the perspectives of educators at other institutions,” remarked Sofie Moller, a junior chemistry and creative writing major, and “Polaris” poetry staff member.

Workshops varied by literary genre areas. Sessions focused on comical poetry, the different point-of-views for poets, the art of writing about true-life events, using original photographs for nonfiction writing, and the different narrative powers of fiction and nonfiction writing.

Jennifer Moore, Ohio Northern assistant professor of English, presented a workshop on erasure poetry, a style of poetry that erases specific words from an already-published work to create a new, innovative poem. “Polaris” Poetry Editor Ricki Ervin joined other staff members in taking an original work and created a different perspective on the page.

"Winter Wheat is a particularly unique event for Polaris students. Its presence on the BGSU campus allows ONU undergraduates to get a sense of the great things other regional colleges and universities are doing to promote the arts," Moore explained. "In other words, it broadens their view beyond the ONU classroom and campus."

Moore continued, "There was a wonderful variety of panels and workshops that students may choose from, and they're able to use what they've learned in their own creative practice. Also, student editors get a chance to staff the 'Polaris' table at the Bookfair, learning what it means to publicize the great things we're doing, but also how to forge relationships with other journals. Finally, hearing authors read their work publicly offers 'Polaris' students the opportunity to realize just how powerful the written word is, and by extension, how much is possible in their own writing."

“Polaris” is currently seeking submissions until Feb. 1, 2016 for its 2015-16 edition. The journal publishes in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. The journal wishes to publish one-third of its journal with ONU writers. Staff members want to see the best that an undergraduate student has to offer, and to showcase the unique voice of an emerging writer.