On April 18, Widener senior Creative Writing majors gave a public reading of their original fiction, produced as part of the senior seminar capstone experience. The three students, all double majors in English and Creative Writing—Taylor Blum, Haley Poluchuk, and Jennifer Rohrbach—are among our most accomplished students, and gave outstanding readings as well as responded to in-depth questions about their aesthetics and processes as writers.
In an introduction detailing the work of these writers, and praising their leadership and accomplishments, Professor Michael Cocchiarale noted their “tremendously positive impact at Widener and beyond.” Taylor Blum’s work is marked by “distinct characterization and snappy dialogue”; Haley Poluchuk’s fiction offers “razor-sharp details,” and she has seen her own work develop over the course of the semester, its “growth connected to an understanding of moving beyond convention”; Jennifer Rohrbach was described as “a gifted storyteller.” The “theme,” as Professor Cocchiarale said, is that “each is really, really good at what they do.”
The achievements of these seniors are not limited to their work on their senior portfolios, and, as Professor Cocchiarale noted, their impact goes beyond Widener’s campus community. Earlier this month the three ran a pop-up writing workshop and open mic at the Nebula Art Gallery in Chester, where a show of local art, “Art is Home,” was held to support the Chester Housing Authority. Pieces were donated to families moving into properties, and about half of the pieces were created by students at the Chester Charter School for the Arts. Read more about this event, and the participation of Widener Creative Writing students and faculty, here.