On Saturday, Nov. 14, Loras College hosted the eighth annual Streamlines Undergraduate Conference, an event designed to encourage and aid students of Loras College, Clarke University, and the University of Dubuque in their creative writing and scholarship opportunities.
Sixteen Loras students were accepted to present creative writing, literary analysis and Spanish work at the conference. Students were placed on panels with students from other schools. Each panelist read his or her paper, then the panel answered questions from the audience sparked from the papers presented. Over 100 people we in attendance from a variety of institutions including University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Knox College, and Waldorf College.
During this year’s conference, Loras was honored with the presence of John T. Price, who gave a lecture that afternoon on “The Nature of Kinship.”
Price, a native Iowan and English professor at the University of Nebraska, recounted part of his life’s story growing up in the town of Fort Dodge. Like many people, his teenage years were laced with confusion and occasional loneliness. As a result, he often found good reason to avoid recounting them in his writings for some time. After a while, though, he began to realize that teen years are the primary core of life’s experience and are worth remembering for the values and lessons learned throughout.
Understanding that writing shows an everlasting state of kinship with one’s past and surroundings, Price decided to write about the Midwest, not only as an area, but also as a home. He subsequently developed a fond interest in the ways of nature, taking several road and camping trips to really harness the feel of the Midwestern environment. He also began working on a collection of memoirs describing the struggles and events of his life.
Price noted that, as early as the 1990s, the idea of a memoir was becoming somewhat criticized in the media, especially in regards to young adults. In opposition to this, Price insisted that young people have a great deal to say about their lives and are often to most perceptive to the developments they undergo in the process
“It’s not meant to stroke egos, but rather to trace the ethical sources of our lives,” says Price on memoir writing.
The next Streamlines Conference will be held on Nov. 5, 2016, at the University of Dubuque.