Tag Archives: Central Penn College

An Exquisite Corpse Comes to Club Fair!

Knight WritersThanks to all of the students that participated in the Knight Writers’ “Exquisite Corpse” story building game at the Winter Club fair! The Exquisite Corpse was a party game played by surrealist French artists and poets in the early 20th century. One person would write a phrase or create an image, then fold the paper over to conceal part of it. They would then pass it to the next person, who would add their contribution. This collaborative and creative effort often has amazing results!

If you enjoy playing with language, writing poetry, stories, rap, drama or creative nonfiction, come to the Knight Writers’ Creative Writing Club kickoff meeting in the library’s leadership room at 2:30 on Wednesday, January 20th. You will learn what the club is all about and have the opportunity to join. Help build our story! For more information contact us at thecentralpen@centralpenn.edu or visit our Facebook page.

Here is what we came up with on Wednesday, January 6th at the Club Fair in the Capital BlueCross Theatre. Can you add the next line?


Once the new year began, Joe decided to make some changes in his life…

And then suddenly life slapped him in the face!

And justice was served…

In walked Bill.

Bill was tall. His skin was leathery…

His hair was black as night…

His eyes were coal….

Much to Joe’s surprise, when he confronted him…

he was very soft spoken…

However, he carried a big stick…

And then suddenly, he threw it in the river!

He found a dog swimming to land…

And then he took it home…

And then he went to sleep…

not realizing that the new canine friend he had found was really…


The story continues…


Leave a comment to add another line or two to our story! Join us for refreshments at 2:30, Wednesday, January 20th in the library to continue the saga and hear the final results!

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Welcome to the Information Age

Snip20150702_40The internet is the most wonderful thing that has happened for college students in many decades as it allows us to have an infinite amount of information at our fingertips.  Gone are the days of debate about who won the 1998 World Series (New York Yankees) or who won the Best Actress in 2005 (Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby).  Anything we want to know is only a moment away.  Seems great right?

The unfortunate side of the information age is the quality of information our students use in their research.  High school and college students today are so used to using Google and Wikipedia in their personal lives that they transfer that into their studies.  And while technology literacy is a wonderful attribute for them, understanding the pros and cons of the internet when writing and researching is essential to success.

In this blog piece, I’ve decided to take a look at the positive and negative aspects of the internet when it comes to certain aspects of the writing process.  Hopefully, this will make students aware of some of these pitfalls before doing their next paper. Continue reading

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$100.00 to go to Poetry Slam Champion – Sign-Up Today!

The 3rd Annual Poetry Slam will be held on Thursday, September 3rd in the Capital BlueCross Theatre on Central Penn College’s Summerdale campus. This event will be hosted by the Central Pen Literary E-zine and Professor Maria Thiaw’s Contemporary American Writer’s Of Color class. The first place slam-master will walk away with a cool $100.00. There are second and third place prizes as well.


The Slam will be judged by students, faculty and Baltimore spoken word powerhouse, Ladi Glori. Central Penn alumna, Shonyah Hawkins will M.C. the free event.  Performers must be students or alumni of Central Penn College and can sign up by emailing thecentralpen@centralpenn.edu no later than August 15. Spots are limited, so don’t delay.

What’s a Poetry Slam?

A poetry slam is a contest in which poets are judged by both their writing style and performance ability. Poets don’t merely ‘read’ their original work, but they deliver it with dramatic flair. Since no one sees the work on paper, slam poets don’t have to worry about being grammatically correct or holding to a traditional form. Poetry slams are a national pastime that has brought the art of poetry off the page and out of the classroom for regular people to enjoy.

Are there rules?

Although the rules of grammar and form are relaxed in a slam, wordsmiths must remember these tips for success:

No props but the poem and the mic!

The first rule of a poetry slam is that there are no props allowed. You can’t talk to an empty chair, hold a dummy, or throw a paper airplane. It is just you, the word and the mic.   For this particular slam you are allowed to have your poem on paper, however most slam champions memorize their pieces and perform them with power.

No disclaimers!

Do not explain your inspiration, apologize, or give a soliloquy about the piece you are about to perform. You only have 3 minutes and the timer starts when you open your mouth.

Respect the Mic!

Although a vast array of once taboo subjects are welcomed in poetry slams, hatred, misogyny and homophobia are not. Please stay away from racial slurs, anti-gay rhetoric or religion bashing. This is a multicultural event. Let’s celebrate the art of the spoken word together!

How Can I Be Down?

So you want to watch the slam? Show up to the Capital BlueCross Theatre in the Underground on the Summerdale campus on Thursday, September 3 at 7 pm to support your friends. Give them lots of love, snaps and claps when they’re on stage.

Oh, you want to walk away with $100.00 and some Central Penn swag? Sign up to perform by sending an email to thecentralpen@centralpenn.edu by August 15. Send us your name, contact information and the name of your poem.

Got Any Tips?



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Knight Writers “Take a Stand” with spoken word phenom, Ladi Glori!

Knight Writers flier w tree - APPROVED

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Baltimore-based Poet and CPC alumni to join Knight Writers for Spoken Word Extravaganza

Amani_ZOn Thursday, June 4th at 7:00 PM in the Capital Blue Cross Theatre, The Knight Writers, Central Penn College’s creative writing club, will take you on an extraordinary journey  entitled “Take a Stand” featuring the award winning Baltimore-based spoken word artist, Ladi Glori. This event is free and open to the public, however, donations are encouraged.

Too often, society overlooks creative expression, but Central Penn embraces artistic freedom.  In celebration, the Knight Writers are proud to present a smorgasbord of poets including founding Knight Writers president, Greg Jones, and alumni members Jordan Parish, and Ashley McGowan. Current Knight Writers will also recite their original performance poems.  Knight Writers founder and advisor, Professor Maria Thiaw, a published author and seasoned performance poet, will emcee the event.   LadiGlori

Ladi Glori is an emcee, actress, author, and activist that has been performing on stage since 2009. In 2011, she released a hip-hop/spoken word CD called “Mute the Background.” She also released her book, Ms. Read the Plight of a Poet, last August. These products will be available for purchase at “Take A Stand,” and Ladi Glori will be available to autograph them.

If you wish to join this thriving creative club in its celebration of the arts, then TAKE A STAND with the Knight Writers and Ladi Glori on Thursday, June 4th at 7 PM in the Capital Blue Cross Theatre, located in the Underground on Central Penn College’s Summerdale campus. For more information, contact Professor Maria Thiaw at mariathiaw@centralpenn.edu or 717-728-2524.Knight Writers

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The Knight Writers! Central Penn College’s Creative Writing Club

Spring has sprung and Central Penn College’s creative writing club, The Knight Writers, is geared up for an exciting term filled with creative activities. Our first meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9th at 4:00 pm in Bollinger Hall. All are welcome.


The Central Pen Poetry Contest!


The month of April is inspiring, not only because of the new sights, sounds and smells of Spring, but because April is National Poetry Month. This is the month we celebrate all kinds of poetry, from Shakespeare to spoken word. It is the time to come to Knight Writers’ meetings and put pen to paper (or text to phone, whatever the case may be!) In fact, this month students can submit their poetry to Thecentralpen@centralpenn.edu for The Fifth Annual Central Pen Poetry Contest. The first place winner will receive $100 and a membership in the Academy of American Poets. Poems can be of any length or subject matter, but must be the student’s original work. Hurry! Submissions are due April 26th. For more information, contact Professor Maria Thiaw.

April doesn’t hold the cornerstone on literary activity, however. On Saturday, May 2nd, Central Penn poets and Knight Writers will be performing at the Amani Festival, an annual multicultural festival held in downtown Carlisle, PA. The event will feature vendors, cultural acts and some of Central PA’s top performance poets including Dustin Nispel, Carla Christopher and Shaashawn Dial. The poetry section will be hosted by Maria (James) Thiaw and Corporate Communications major, Shonyah Hawkins. Poetry books and CDs will be on sale. The festival goes on from 10 – 4 but the Knight Writers are on at 12. Come out and show your support!

On June 4th, you can join us for “Take A Stand,” a theatrical production celebrating the arts. More info will be out on this event very soon. To get the first scoop on all of our activities and events, be sure to join us for our meetings Thursday afternoons at 4:00 pm in Bollinger Hall, room 51 starting April 9th!

For a calendar of Central PA poetry events for National Poetry Month, visit www.thetrianglepa.com.

Don’t just be a writer. Be a Knight Writer!


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Photography Submission: Dr. Melissa Wehler

At The Central Pen, we are committed to all types of art and artists, including the visual arts.  We believe that creative expression, no matter the medium, has an important place in our education and in our lives.   With that said, please enjoy the following submission by a member of our creative community.

About the artist.

Dr. Melissa Wehler is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Central Penn College.  When she is not teaching writing, literature, film, or cultural anthropology, she is an avid photographer and fiction writer, including the co-editor for The Central Pen.

Falling Creek; Little Buffalo State Park


Autumn’s Last; Little Buffalo State Park


Spokes; Little Buffalo State Park

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by | December 6, 2014 · 8:14 pm

Writer Spotlight: Derrick Johnson Talks Creative Energy

Creative writing is a form of releasing energy. Whether it’s writing, typing or texting the word document, paper or text box is a place where you can store energy from within you. Releasing energy is good because it allows your body or system to create room for new energy.

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Feeding off of the same energy for too long can become a negative thing because you can lose motivation, it can turn into anger and become a burden to you, and allowing energy to build up can lead to stress which has severe side effects such as a change in your mood, behavior, and even your body.

– – –

I compare it to a car getting its oil changed. Whenever a car gets its oil changed it allows the car’s engine to perform better, after a while through a number of ways the oil becomes dirty and affects the engine’s performance.  If a car runs on the same oil for too long the engine will eventually stop running and you will have to buy a new one.

David McCallum

Well it’s no different from any human being: if energy isn’t released new energy can’t form and that’s when it becomes a problem.

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Writing should be promoted more–too many people forget things nowadays and a simple written note to self could make all the difference.

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For those who have trouble getting ideas and thoughts across I suggest writing to them. Writing can simply be viewed as an alternative for outlet. For instance, if you want to be heard and you feel like your voice isn’t or can’t be heard you could simply write a letter, message or note.

…writing has no limit.

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Derrick A. Johnson known as “Muff” by any human being who shares time and space with him, is striving to be better today than he was yesterday. Born in the South part of Bronx New York and raised in Philadelphia he was a unique, self-motivated thinking child.  As an active high school student he participated in athletics, participated in community events, and participated as an advocate for justice.  Currently he is pursuing an Associates of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business at Central Penn College in Enola, Pennsylvania. He strives to positively contribute to the campus environment by serving as an active member of the Central Penn Literary E-Zine, supporting peers, faculty, and staff, and working part-time. His academic goals are to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and to conduct his (future) internship at Comcast in Philadelphia. His professional goal is to obtain employment as an executive with Comcast.

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Poetry Contest Winners Announced!

Poetry ContestAfter a record-setting year for submissions, The Central Pen E-zine is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s poetry contest sponsored by The Central Pen and the American Academy of Poets.  These poets impressed the judges ‘brutal honesty, ’’captivating’ images, ‘use of allusions,’ ‘playful word choice,’ and ‘use of dialect.’

First Place: “I am” by Jade Harper
Second Place: “Changes” by Isaiah Isley
Third Place: “Nerd Music” by Dezmyn Edmond

In addition to their prizes, all of our poets will be featured in here on the blog in the upcoming months!

Thank you to all of our poets Roman Alcazar, Robert Ashkenes, Kyisha Bright, Ricky Cousar, Steven Henry, Jr., Derrick Johnson, Richard Mann, Charles Mull, Jacquelyn Roi, Hollyann Thigpen, Bachelle Upshur, Myrna Vicente-Cruz, Ireshia Warren, and Jordyn Zelko.

A special thank you our judges Professors Thomas Davis and Matthew Vickless, Writing Center Director Dalton James, and Student Activities Coordinator Danielle Klebes all of whom had a difficult job this year determining the winners.

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The Central Pen Staff

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City Centered: A History

nmp5500If you are a new student at Central Pennsylvania College, I bet you have been told that the original campus was in downtown Harrisburg.  If you’ve been with Central Penn for a while now, that little tidbit of information has probably drilled itself into your skull through repetition and from retelling it to every person who has asked you about the college.  Have you had classes or meetings in the old room of Milano Hall that looks like it came from straight out of a 1920’s crime noire?  Maybe you’ve passed by it so many times now that you don’t even remember what side of Milano it is on.  Or maybe you are on the other end of the fulcrum and you have spent days digging up the history of the college and you practically live in old newsprint.  Wherever you fall on the issue, we are part of the same story.

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