With the Little Patuxent Review published mere minutes away from Howard Community College and faculty members frequently contributing content, it was only natural our journal made its way into the classrooms there.
At first, it was the teachers who took the initiative. “In my creative writing class last fall and in honors literature seminars before that, I’ve regularly had LPR contributors such as Truth Thomas guest-lecture and distributed copies of the LPR,” says Tara Hart, Chair of the English/World Languages Division.
The teachers drew on interactions with the LPR to bring the writing and publishing process to life for their students. “I brought my copy of the LPR to creative writing class to introduce the idea of submission possibilities and protocol,” Patricia Jakovich VanAmburg, Professor of English, says. Danuta Hinc, Interim Instructor, adds, “I had a great experience with Tara’s poem about her son. We went to Tara’s office to meet her–the poet. My students loved it.”
Then this past fall, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses’ Lit Mag Adoption Program for Creative Writing Students inspired LPR co-publishers Mike Clark and Tim Singleton to establish the LPR in the Classroom Program, encouraging systematic use by offering copies at a special price. “It’s wonderful that now we have the discount and are able to supply whole classes with them,” Hart says.
Students took to the LPR immediately, as VanAmburg describes:
This was the first semester that my students received copies bought for them by the English Division at a reduced rate. They just opened them up and started reading, and though I had not planned on that as part of class, I just let them read. In about ten minutes, a spontaneous discussion opened when two of my students recognized works by people they knew. Having their own copies was much different than glancing at a copy being passed around the class.
HCC faculty members plan to take further advantage of the program for their English, creative writing and literature classes. Other colleges have also expressed an interest in the LPR. A New York State institution of higher learning is currently evaluating our Water issue for use in a course devoted to water rights and cultures.
Distributing print copies of the LPR is not the only way we hope to engage future writers and artists. Recognizing that students often turn first to electronic media for information, we began publishing articles of interest to both them and their teachers on this site.
Our online series, “Concerning Craft,” which so far has featured contributors Prince Mensah and Gregory Luce, prompted Rus Vanwestervelt, area educator and publisher of Maryland Voices, to comment on the Luce piece: “I think this is an essential article for any serious young writer who is struggling with voice. Thank you for putting this series together. I will certainly be using it with my student writers.”
We look forward to developing a co-operative relationship with HCC’s English/World Languages Division and comparable entities at other colleges and universities. Among other things, we expect to post writing by students and faculty on our Website. We also anticipate expanding our outreach efforts at area high schools, where we currently provide copies of the LPR to 35 seniors recognized by their English teachers.
To keep you up to date on the LPR in the Classroom Program, we have established a new section on this site and invite you to not only avail yourself of the information there but also to contribute your experiences so we can learn from each other.
Note: Hart, VanAmburg and Hinc are all LPR contributors. Videos of their readings as well as that of Thomas are available in the Winter 2011 Water and Winter 2010 Form & Structure sections of this site. The Hart poem referenced by Hinc is “Song of Two” and was published in the Summer 2009 issue of the LPR.