Members of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith campus community were able to give unique and thoughtful gifts to their valentines this year thanks to students from the university's Applause literary magazine.
Five students wrote custom Valentine’s Day poems on request from UAFS students, faculty and staff to raise money for the literary magazine. The literary students gathered information from requestors before typing short poems on typewriters set up in the Campus Center.
“We are working to promote a literary community in Fort Smith, and that includes community literary readings, and high school writing workshops,” said Cheyenne Fletcher of Warner, Okla., editor of Applause. “But sometimes it’s nice to just do very casual projects like this that are not only fun for us, but gets students, staff and faculty engaged as well.”
“A staff member’s father, for instance, works on campus and stopped by the table to have a valentine written for his wife,” Fletcher added. “It’s pretty amazing to see our work going into families like that. It’s fun to see our hard work in the classroom make the community happy.”
This was the third year Applause had held the fundraiser on campus according to Fletcher, who helped conceptualize the idea three years before in an effort to increase campus engagement and raise awareness of Applause.
“We found that this project not only helped raise money for our journal but also increased our visibility to other students,” she said.
While writing poems on the fly can be challenging, the Applause students were able to work together on poems and feed off each other’s ideas, Fletcher said.
“Ideas make more ideas, and working together helps us see what we’ve learned together and how we can keep encouraging each other,” Fletcher said. “The communal energy is exciting; it’s what writing is about.”
Students writing Valentine’s Day poems were:
Fort Smith: Lissa Brooks, Jade Stenger and Krystal Summers.
Van Buren: Jamie Fore.
Warner, Okla.: Cheyenne Fletcher.
Applause is published each spring and includes original poetry and fiction by UAFS students. Applause is a registered student organization that also offers a one credit-hour course for students to earn editorial and community networking opportunities.
For more information about Applause, contact Dr. Christian Gerard, assistant professor of English, at 479-788-7560 or Christian.email@example.com.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.