Though news reports are lamenting the dying art of the handwritten letter, UTC faculty and staff continue to preserve the tradition. In honor of 2nd annual National Day on Writing, students and faculty celebrated the art of letter writing. The National Day on Writing is sponsored by the National Council of English Teachers and is meant to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft.
Last October 20th, participants wrote or read letters written by themselves or to others. They gathered in the portico of Lupton Library with writing materials of all types – from quill pens with ink wells to fluorescent rollerballs, imitation parchment to laptops –to compose their own letters.
“Letter writing is a lost art,” Dr. Susan North, Assistant Professor in the Department of English and organizer of the event, said. “There’s something really special about a handwritten letter where you can see a person’s personality and handwriting. It’s much more intimate.”
Students who participated found the event worthwhile.
“The most rewarding part of the letter writing day on campus was seeing people finding pleasure and humor in not only writing these letters but reading them in front of an audience as well, sharing pieces of their own histories with students and professors they’d never met or seen,” Jennifer Manning, UTC student, said.
Some letters were uploaded to the UTC Gallery of Writing, located at http://www.galleryofwriting.org/galleries/gallery_pieces.php?galleryid=135540
Another letter writing event is planned for this year’s National Day of Writing.
“I’ve already started to investigate how to make more substantial quill pens,” Dr. North said, “I’m collecting large feathers. If anyone has any goose or turkey feathers and wants to contribute to the UTC National Day of Writing, we would be glad to have them.”