Successful Turnout at the Eastern Writers Guild Coffeehouse

From the Keeping ENG-in-Touch Newsletter: Spring 2014

On February 26, 2014, the Eastern Writers Guild their first coffeehouse of the spring semester in the Student Center Café. For two-and-a-half hours, the room was filled with writers and musicians who went on stage to read and play their works to an audience of about thirty-five people. Each contributor brought something new to the stage from poetry advocating for gender equality to short stories and memoirs, even including a sing-along sea shanty.

The attendees listened in and applauded each act, sometimes cheering them on. Angela DiLella, president of the Eastern Writers Guild, was ecstatic with both the turnout and the variety of acts, which resulted from various announcements about the event through word-of-mouth, in the Guild’s weekly minutes, and social media.

“It was amazing to see so many people get involved–including people who just happened to be in the area at the same time, doing homework or eating dinner or just hanging out,” Angela DiLella said.

Before the coffeehouse ended for the evening, Eastern alumnus, Kileen Gilroy went onstage, reciting a poem from memory. In 2009, Gilroy served as the Eastern Exposure’s editor-in-chief and vice-president of the Eastern Writers Guild when it was called the English Club. Guild President DiLella commented on Gilroy’s appearance and the impact it had on both her and the club.

“It was wonderful to see someone so pivotal in the club and magazine’s earlier years come back to act as a club member once again. I think it says a lot about the community we work to create in what is now the Eastern Writers Guild,” DiLella said.

Through events like the coffeehouses, and publishing the Eastern Exposure annually in the spring semester, the Eastern Writers Guild continues to be a driving force in promoting literature and creative writing endeavors to Eastern Connecticut State University’s student body. Be sure to e-mail the Guild’s e-board at easternwriters@my.easternct.edu if you are interested in attending their meetings and collaborate with other aspiring writers.

Spotlight on Kileen Gilroy

From the Keeping ENG-in-Touch Newsletter: Fall 2013

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, alumnus Kileen Gilroy returned to Eastern Connecticut State University for a poetry reading followed by a Q&A session. Gilroy graduated from Eastern in 2010 with a Bachelors in English and Secondary Education, including a minor in writing. She currently teaches English at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island while writing poems and working on mixed-media projects. While at Eastern, she was the vice-president of the English Club as the Eastern Exposure’s editor-in-chief, helping to create the literary magazine’s foundations.

During the Q&A session, Gilroy discussed how the English department inspired her to keep writing. She insists that students take advantage of the services the English Department offers and establish a relationship with their professors. She discussed how students need to be self-motivated, as these classes and people matter even after graduation.

“You’re not a number here. You’re a person,” Gilroy said.

On writing, she told students to find their mentor; whether it is a professor, a close friend, or otherwise. These people will help to acknowledge the passions and inspirations that motivate students to write or major in English. After they graduate, Gilroy emphasizes that the bills and jobs that make up reality will never replace her experience at Eastern.

Through establishing relationships with professors like Donaghy and Mama, Gilroy continues to write and submit poetry. Her published works and achievements reflect their encouragement and inspiration from the English Department. Gilroy hopes for students to strive for the same experience to achieve their own goals when they graduate.