A Tribute by Local Writers & Students
Western Nevada College writing students, the Lone Mountain Writers and Ash Canyon poets will all pay tribute to retiring WNC English Professor Marilee Swirzcek with a multimedia literary exhibit, titled Affirmations: A Writer’s Truth. The exhibit shows in the WNC College Gallery Monday, Feb. 13, through Friday, March 23. A reception to honor Professor Swirczek is Thursday, March 8, 5-6:30 p.m. at the gallery.
Poignant, powerful writings by friends, colleagues and students are complemented by photographic portraits of the authors and still life images of the trappings and landscapes of their environment that were created by local writer and photographer Doug Deacy.
Affirmations is a testament to the creativity and support shared among northern Nevada’s writers, who when working together find the strength needed to fight the backspace key. The exhibit represents the power that writers have when banded together. The words of prose and poems collectively form a powerful display of the written word.
In Josh Galarza’s The Truth about Affirmations, he dubs the show a “love letter to Marilee” that celebrates all that she has done to build the WNC creative writing classes and writers groups at Western.
He says the exhibit “isn’t a farewell to the writers of WNC. It’s a testament to our tenacity to be heard and seen and rooted together, our need to be here for each other no matter what. Affirmations: A Writer’s Truth is really just the beginning of a new chapter in our enduring plot, and I, for one, can’t wait to turn the page.”
Swirzcek has taught creative writing at Western since 1989, and she started the Lone Mountain Writers group in 1991. Her most recent literary project, Always Lost: A Meditation on War, has gained national attention as a traveling exhibit that offers a powerful meditation on the effects of war and a sacred space for visitors to contemplate the personal costs and collective sacrifice of the conflicts in Irag and Afghanistan, and consequently, of all wars.
Professor Marilee Swirzcek says, “The literary arts exhibit that my students have planned portrays the rich writing life in northern Nevada. It's also an opportunity to invite the community to share in a celebration of their artistic journeys. Though this last literary show feels like an ending, it's not--it's a class reunion, tangible evidence of my students' genuine affection for each other and of their commitment to continue growing in their art. Most of all, it's a sweet good-bye for me. I've been privileged to watch this amazing, funny, intense group of people grow as writers. The show gives me an opportunity to experience every teacher's dream: to applaud my students' insights and successes and to encourage and appreciate them as they surpass me. “
Swirzcek added, “As I prepare for my last semester at WNC before retirement, I can't help but reflect upon the unique experience I've had teaching creative writing. For a reason that I may never understand, we've attracted an extraordinary group of talented writers who have created an enduring, generous writing community that reaches beyond our college. “
The WNC College Gallery is located in the Bristlecone Building at the Carson City campus. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 9 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., excluding holidays. Admission is free.
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