The night of Thursday, Feb. 2, the campus was abuzz with the sounds of excited members of the community. The Winter With the Writers (WWW) festival opened with a large crowd and a reading by Carl Hiaasen.
“I was overwhelmed by the response of the community to Hiaasen’s reading,” WWW intern Chelsea Cutchens ‘13 said.
“Not only did Bush Auditorium fill up within minutes of opening the doors, but two overflow auditoriums were packed as well. I was immensely pleased by the turnout, because it provided publicity for our remaining events, which I’m sure will be equally insightful and enjoyable.”
Winter With the Writers is a literary festival celebrating the works of modern writers. Rollins students work as interns to assist Director and Professor of English Carol Frost with the production of the festival. Every Thursday in February a different author will visit the campus and read in Bush Auditorium.
Last week, Hiaasen entertained the large audience. After reciting a passage from his first novel, Tourist Season, he went on to incite laughter from the crowd by reading absurd Florida headlines. The author, a Florida native, often uses news stories as a source of inspiration for his off-color adult novels.
“Hiaasen’s visit has given me a deeper appreciation for his craft and approach,” intern Catheryne Lowe ‘12 said. “I was impressed by how much inspiration he takes from the news articles he reads. I personally have found subjects and character ideas from various articles but not to the extent Hiaasen does.”
This week, poets Mihaela Moscaliuc and Ilya Kaminsky will take the stage. These notable authors will speak to an audience about and read from their works. As always, the event is open to the public and students are encouraged to attend. It will take place Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of the festival is that it celebrates community. While many members of the public attend the events, WWW is also a great resource to students. Those who attend Rollins can interact with writers and interns alike, all the while remaining in their own backyard. The best feature of WWW is the fact that it is unique to Rollins.
“This festival is truly unique in the level of interaction we interns and the audience have with the writers,” intern Abigail Mills ‘12 said. “A community coming together like this with the purpose of bettering communication, expression, truth and beauty through words: who wouldn’t want to come and experience this event?”
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