Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

This content was published: October 6, 2017. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Student Writers showcased at Groundswell

Posted by

GroundswellThe PCC English departments hosted the first ever Groundswell: a Conference of Student Writing at the Rock Creek campus spring term in 2017. Thirty students from across the district presented their original creative and academic writing on a range of topics, including sexuality and gender, nature and the environment, as well as politics and Portland’s housing crisis.

During the opening reception, Hannah Staggers, a tutor in the Rock Creek Writing Center, presented the keynote speech, and Tristan Reinhart read her RC Writing Center Best Essay Prize-winning essay. According to Reinhart, “it was a complete joy and honor to be able to share my writing with everyone. Getting to meet instructors…and listen to what fellow students had to say only made my love for writing and desire to be a teacher one day even stronger.”

Students standing around tables and others clapping for them.

(Conference organizer Melissa Manolas and student participants at the Groundswell conference. 2017)

Along with Reinhart’s winning paper, students read papers examining subjects such as “Utah’s Homeless Solution: Why It Should Be A National Solution” (Adrianna Church), “Gender, Caste and Abjection in R.K. Narayan’s The Dark Room” (CJ Hintze), “From Beneath a Mushroom Cloud: Perspectives of the Hiroshima Bombing” (Joey Hayden), “Prison Reform” (Benny Covamubias), and “Teaching Fish to Climb Trees: Standardized Testing in American Schools” (Sam Collins).

Writing instructor Elissa Minor Rust, who facilitated a panel on Creative Writing described the conference as a smashing success. “The students in my panel were so focused and professional, and almost all of them thanked me after or emailed to say how much it meant to them to be chosen and to read their work. …We have THE most amazing students and sometimes it takes something like this to remind us of that.” The Creative Writing panel Minor Rust led featured students reading poems published in the Bellwether Review including, “Haruka Weiser’s Descent” (Lauren Milsted), “Quince Palabras” (Francisco Ibanez) and “Bury Your Queers” (Xi Shapiro).

Sylvania writing instructor and panel facilitator, Bryan Hull, recognized the conference’s potential to grow in the coming years. Ultimately, conference organizers hope Groundswell will expand into a major event, celebrating PCC students’ writing from all disciplines and giving students the opportunity to share their compelling work from the classroom with the college and the Portland community.

(Conference graphic design and logotype by Anthony Catalan.)

Students sitting around tables listening to a presentation.