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LIU Post Fall Write-In

The Long Night Against Procrastination

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“War Photograph”: By Kate Daniels

To continue in the celebration of American Archives Month, here is a moving poem written by Kate Daniels about a young girl, thrust into the chaos of war.

Also, remember to send you poems to post-wc@liu.edu for a chance at being featured on our blog. For details, see our last blog post: “Honoring American Archives Month” and send us your poem.

War Photograph
by: Kate Daniels

A naked child is running 
along the path toward us, 
her arms stretched out, 
her mouth open, 
the world turned to trash 
behind her.

She is running from the smoke 
and the soldiers, from the bodies 
of her mother and little sister 
thrown down into a ditch, 
from the blown-up bamboo hut 
from the melted pots and pans. 
And she is also running from the gods 
who have changed the sky to fire 
and puddled the earth with skin and blood. 
She is running--my god--to us, 
10,000 miles away, 
reading the caption 
beneath her picture 
in a weekly magazine. 
All over the country 
we’re feeling sorry for her 
and being appalled at the war 
being fought in the other world. 
She keeps on running, you know,
after the shutter of the camera 
clicks. She’s running to us. 
For how can she know, 
her feet beating a path 
on another continent? 
How can she know
what we really are? 
From the distance, we look 
so terribly human.

Honoring American Archives Month

Collecting photos or historical objects is a wonderful way to look into the past. As a part of the celebration of American Archives Month, the Writing Center invites you to write a poem reflecting on a photo from your or your families history, engaging the reader in a story that goes beyond the still image. Once you have written your poem, e-mail them to the Writing Center at post-wc@liu.edu, where it will have the chance of being posted on our blog! Be sure to include your name, year, and major in the e-mail. We are excited to read your poems and cannot wait to post them for others to see!

If you need a little help getting started, take a look at Gabeba Baderoon’s poem below!

Old Photographs

On my desk is a photograph of you
taken by the woman who loved you then.

In some photos her shadow falls
in the foreground. In this one,
her body is not that far from yours.

Did you hold your head that way
because she loved it?

She is not invisible, not
my enemy,
nor even the past.
I think I love the things she loved.

Of all your old photographs,
I wanted this one for its becoming. I think
you were starting
to turn your head a little,
your eyes looking slightly to the side.

Was this the beginning of leaving?