The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Workshopping the written word

Photo by Photo by Alyssa Denson

Senior english and performance studies major Jasmine Games reads some of her ‘refined diary’.  

Eight undergraduate students and two special guests presented samples of their prose and poetry at the SEAD gallery in Downtown Bryan on Saturday, March 3.
Black Box Speaks is a showcase of creative writers in Black Box, an undergraduate residency program coordinated by the University Writing Center and the Department of English. For six weeks, students rewrote and revised their work under the mentorship of faculty at Texas A&M. Students also learned how to present their creative pieces to an audience.
Riley Womack, English junior, presented an excerpt from his short story at the event. Womack said he is uncertain about what he wants to do with his writing, but he wants to make sure it remains a part of his life in one way or another.
“I never want to feel like I’m in a position where I won’t be able to write,” Womack said. “I always want to have that talent, that passion and I want to be able to do that throughout my life. But, I hope to make a career out of it in some sense, whether that’s publishing books, writing movies, working as an editor or publisher. I never want it to not be a thing that I do.”
Womack said he has been pleased with the myriad of programs and faculty interests in A&M’s English department. He said he has had professors who are more focused on academia and others who are published, creative writers.
“You get the nice scholarly mix and the nice writerly mix, if you want to term it like that,” Womack said. “The English department is great and I just think that going forward, that we’re going to see writers popping up out of the English department, that are finding their voice and finding their passion.”
Jasmine Games, English senior and Black Box participant, said she has been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. She said she participated in Black Box as a freshman, but she wanted to revisit the program as a senior to see how she has progressed. Games said in terms of having her work critiqued and revised by the staff of Black Box, the process is an opportunity to grow as a writer.
“You can be a little bit possessive, but I think the best way to do it is to stay open-minded, because at the end of the day it is helping you grow,” Games said. “Maybe if the perspective isn’t what you were going for, it at least gives you a different way to look at your work.”
Two special guests appeared at Black Box to perform samples of their creative work as well. Christine Granados, author and journalist, performed an excerpt from her novel, “Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children,” a tribute to her late father. Roger Reeves, award-winning poet, performed a few of his poems on an array of topics, including the Bible story Genesis, the U.S. slave trade and the difference between old money and new money in the South.
Reeves, Class of 2006, is a former student and faculty member. He assisted in mentoring the eight students during the program. After reciting his first poem, he addressed the audience and thanked the A&M Black Box faculty and students.
“It’s been great to work with the young folk, the students here,” Reeves said. “Most don’t know that this is happening here, and [to the students] please keep writing. I remember when I was an undergrad and doing this, and in no way did I think that I was going to be a professor or a writer with a book. So all of your wild dreams are possible.”

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