A new meeting place for literary minds

Posted by Sarah Barry

While most of us might recognize the spring club fair as the annual, belated influx of London freshmen, this year it played host to something new. This year's fair welcomed a fresh group of scholars into the fold. The recently christened Skidmore Literary Society offers students a new space to appreciate literature outside of the classroom and is open to all with an interest in the written word.

John Maher '12 stumbled on the idea while studying abroad in Scotland. He encountered a literary society at the University of Edinburgh and carried the idea back to Skidmore. "I was given a great deal of help from a few fellow bibliophilic seniors and a thumbs-up from a faculty member, and here we are," Maher '12 said.

The society is not a literary magazine and does not intend to rival the existing sources of publication on campus, but it does welcome writers to attend meetings and share their work. "We are also not a book club, as we all have enough reading to do without assigning extra things," Maher said.

Instead, all that is required is a few moments out of the day to discuss different strains of poetry and prose.

"We will have bi-weekly meetings based on a single literary theme and let the discussions go where they may," Maher said. Society events may include conversations with professors and book swaps. Maher also hopes to eventually bring speakers to campus.

The society will produce a newsletter and maintain a public blog (skidlit.wordpress.com) to keep members informed. The site lists both broad and Skidmore specific literary news and links viewers to other notable sites of literary interest.

Thus far, more than 60 people have signed up for the club. The first meeting will take place on Feb. 6 at 8:15 p.m. in Bolton 103. Maher is looking for input from new members and encourages those interested to attend the first meeting to share ideas.

Maher stressed that the society is open to anyone interested. "We very much love the English Department, but are not directly affiliated with [it]; that is, any who love literature should join, not just English majors," Maher said.  

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