Literary Live Action Clue

A quarter after 7 p.m. last Friday night, about 20 students pulled out their magnifying glasses and detective hats and started searching for clues around the halls of Westminster. Westminster Round hosted the event, and brought the board game to life.  Before the event, Westminster Round members hid cards with names of literary characters, places and weapons around the rooms of Westminster.

Teams of students had seven minutes in each of the eight  rooms to find the cards. Teams could also re-hide cards once they found them and come up with their own team names.

“I’m pretty proud of the one I put in the hand sanitizer dispenser,” junior Lydia Pierson said, a member of the winning team.

Senior Vanessa Henzler said she liked the event because it’s fun to search, find and hide things.

“In elementary school, I was playing hide and seek with my brother and babysitter, and I hid in a shirt rack, behind the shirts,” Henzler said. “I knew at that moment, 'I’m pretty good at this.'”

Although Henzler’s team didn’t win, the “Sneaky Sleuths” was one of the teams to find the most clues. The team “Mystery Machine” guessed two out of three of the right answers.

This was the fourth annual Literary Live Action Clue, said senior Katie Cunningham, Westminster Round president. There have been small refinements made to the game over the years, like designing and printing nicer clue cards and allowing all teams to move the cards in the rooms. Theming the rooms was also not part of the original game.

Each classroom had an image projected on the screen and music playing that fit a certain theme. One room had the character and music from “The Shining,” while another was decorated as the Room of Requirement from “Harry Potter.”

Cunningham and the rest of the Westminster Round team came up with the names for the characters, weapons and rooms.

“We had one meeting where we just hung out in a classroom [to come up with the names]; everyone just shouts stuff out and we vote on what we want to use,” Cunningham said. “It only took about 30 minutes.”

One character card featured “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan,” the first line of the novel “Ulysses,” which is the focus of a class many English majors are currently taking.

“It’s fun because the stuff that we use is kind of reflective of what people are reading in the department that year,” Cunningham said. “In English we have a lot of events that happen every year, but they’re also fresh because different people are reading different books.”

Students got familiar with the department building as well as the reading list.

“Checking out the computers, the white board, creates a relationship with the space and department and breaks down boundaries,” Cunningham said. “I think when you come back to school [after the event] it makes you feel more comfortable with the spaces.”

Influential poet B.H. Fairchild inspires students

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The audience listened with rapt attention as poetry filled the hall. The poet had each member hanging on for the next phrase, filling the space with the flow of his stanzas, spinning imagery and narrative.

B.H. Fairchild is an accomplished poet, and has won many awards such as the Beatrice Hawley Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, according to his Poetry Foundation profile.

Fairchild’s poetry reading was held on Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Weyerhaeuser Hall. The performance drew in faculty, students and other members of the Spokane community. Some students were required to attend for various classes, and many were excited to hear the writer’s work.

“I had read a few B.H. Fairchild poems in high school and I really liked it,” freshman Jordan Seiersen said. “It was interesting hearing his poems out loud rather than reading them.”

The reading reinforced the importance of reading poems out loud. That was especially true for Fairchild’s poems because they are from personal experience, which gives his stories a deeper meaning and makes them applicable to the population. They are quite beautiful, Seiersen said.

English professor Thomas Caraway introduced Fairchild to the audience. A long-time fan of the poet’s work, Caraway loves how Fairchild brings in sound, metaphor, figurative language, as well as interesting narratives and characters, which makes him such a powerful writer, Caraway said.

“He’s able to combine all of the elements that make poetry so important,” Caraway said. “All these things kind of come together like at the end of a symphony where you’ve had all of these individual strings. You know, the choir part is good over here, and the strings are good over here, and the brass, every- thing, and with the end, the crescendo it all comes together. And that’s what his poetry does for me.”

Fairchild read the poems “Language, Nonsense, Desire,” “The Limits of my Language: English 85B,” “The Deposition,” “Cigarettes,” “What He Said, What She Said” and other pieces from his book “The Blue Buick.”

Fairchild provided commentary on each poem before he read them to provide insight into his personal experiences. He explained the inspirations for each piece, ranging from a high school Spanish video to his days working as a young adult in his hometown.

Fairchild spoke of his days before poetry, and his revelation that days of “work, eat, sleep” were aimless. He wanted a purpose, which he found in literature, because there is always a point and a promise. Poetry fulfilled that purpose, and the influences of growing up in a blue-collar American society is evident, Fairchild said.

His work explores the area where he was born and the empty landscapes that accompany it, along with the lives of the working residents. Many times his poems include his own family and friends, according to his Poetry Foundation profile.

The audience didn’t stay silent throughout the performance. Many times the silence was broken by laughter, usually caused by Fairchild’s humorous anecdotes. Students often take too many literary classes, and could not accept a poem for what it was an enjoy it, Fairchild said.

The friendly atmosphere brought many poetry lovers and new enthusiasts together.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu