Folio invites students to showcase art at annual literature reading

Dylan HavilandGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Jennie Ellis, a Southern Connecticut State University senior majoring in psychology and English, faced audience members lounging amongst cushioned couches and a rugged blue carpet.  “We sat and smoked cigarettes, one after another pretending they still tasted good.  Our fingertips glowed yellow and our breath caught on our Styrofoam tongues,” said Ellis, with a few glances at the stapled sheets that composed her poems.

Ellis’s piece, “Masochist Courtship” described her view on relationships and life, expressed through her favorite literary style, poetry.


Jennie Ellis SCSU psychology and English major, senior poetry editor of portfolio reads poetry

“Poetry is a greater expression than fiction because no matter what you make your speaker, there’s a little part of you within the speech,” said Ellis.

Similar works of poetry, fiction and artwork were featured in the annual literature readings hosted by the student run organization Folio, held in the fireplace lounge at the Adanti Student Center.

Folio is an organization where students can express their passion for written language and artwork ranging from photography to pottery.  Amongst the crowd of students, a table exhibited Folio’s yearly publications, crafted into a small booklet.

“We have a staff of editors for every section and assistant editors,” said Mackenzie Hurlbert, chairman of Folio and SCSU English major.   “We invite guest readers to come in and read works that we get by the end of the semester and we then select the best of them that go in the magazine and print them.” Submissions to Folio are open to any SCSU undergraduate students during the academic year, by the deadline Dec. 22, 2014.

President Mackenzie Hurlbert

President Mackenzie Hurlbert

The SCSU students exhibited their potential additions to the art and literary magazine with an open mic performance, with a piece of their choice.

“My favorite part is the open mic because it gives people a chance who have never read in any settings to share their work and feel pride for something they have worked hard on,” said Ellis.

The use of literature amongst the students allowed them to reach out to the crowds and to themselves.  Several pieces of fiction where read aloud that spoke volumes of the struggles of young college students and adults.

Courtney Luciana, a sophomore at SCSU presented her works in fiction, which expressed lost love and bitterness towards the world.  The young writers work strongly reflected the works of American author John Green.

“It’s important to expand your mind not everything needs to be so dead point on and logical,” said Luciana.  “Today, what’s better than making something up? That’s the beauty of literature, life’s too short to be so boring and simple.”

Apart from fiction, pieces of poetry where a large component of the readings.  Students presented poetry that concerned philosophy and past struggles.  Their voices strung with passion as they read their art work.

“Speak to me as I would speak to you.  And I will say no more,” said Gregory Byrd a SCSU freshman and psychology major, in his featured poem which was a part of a four piece presentation.  Byrd’s work ranged from ‘verse’ to ‘haiku’ poetry, giving the audience an exclusive look at the different writing styles writers experiment with.

Byrd described that Folio was an excellent opportunity to hone his craft in all different forms of artwork.

Amongst the audience members, Professor Timothy Parrish, SCSU professor of English and author of Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, A Memoir, spoke of the importance of literature. “Literature expanded my world in a lot of different ways, not only knowing more about the world but knowing there’s a great diversity of people and part of having a soul and a self is closely related to language.

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland

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