Spotlight on Organizations
English Club Hosts Book Discussion
By Kira Ward
Bowie State University's own Figures Of Speech English Club has returned after being on hiatus to unite readers, writers and poets alike. Figures of Speech was created by a group of students who have an avid interest in reading, writing, poetry, and more and it happens to be the only organization on campus of its sort.
Ongoing events that the club sponsors are book discussions, writing workshops, and bi-weekly publishing of students' work. They are planning to bring authors who are not only true to the literary arts, but who are also relevant to today's youth to speak and participate in book signings. In addition to that, they frequent the surrounding cities in search of art expression in its many forms.
As many other organizations do, they also engage in community service and have performed acts of service such as volunteering at local elementary schools. This month, they launched their series of events with a discussion of the book entitled Drown by Junot Diaz. Junot Diaz is a Dominican-American author who has won the Pulitzer Prize for his work. He is currently a professor at MIT, and was recently listed The New Yorker's Top 20 writers of the 21st century. This book is a one that is relevant to many urban young adults growing up in adversity. It entailed various accounts of street life and survival in the streets. The book also contains a great amount of Hispanic influence, and with the growing Hispanic community this feature adds another dimension for readers who may not be exposed otherwise.
The event started with English Club member Meekael Buggs, welcoming everyone and introducing the active members who were present. The discussion then began and the general question that circulated was how everyone liked the book.
The feedback was positive from everyone present, with people conveying that they could, indeed relate to the book. Others said that they learned a great deal about another culture through the eyes of the narrator. A later topic for discussion was who in fact the narrator was. It is said that the author desired a certain ambiguity of who was actually telling the accounts.
During the discussion readers were offered Latin cuisine to accompany the mood of the book. English Club members wanted to focus on specific chapters of the book, encouraging participants to read select pages that they felt were a premiere focus in understanding the novel.
At the end, everyone walked away with not only a greater understanding of the book, but also a different perspective. This book club was the beginning of many more to come, and a part of a reading initiative that the school is trying to push. The goal is to get more students to read, and to actually enjoy the literature. Members stated that they are looking forward to hosting more book readings, artistic field trips, and guest speakers. Events like these should inspire the students at BSU to read and engage in the literary arts on a constant basis, not only by necessity.