Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scissortail 2014: It's On!


As of 9:30 this morning, the Ninth Annual the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is under way. If you are attending the Festival and have heard something you like, please leave a comment here so that the authors and everyone else can know what you think. Just click on the comment button below to leave a comment and read the comments left by others. And if you're not attending the Festival, come on over!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Welcome: From the Director – 2014

Ben Myers and Ken Hada (April 3, 2014)
On behalf of so many gracious volunteers, students and staff at ECU, I gladly welcome you to the 9th Annual Scissortail Festival. This year, eleven authors new to the festival join those who have returned. To all of you, and to the many audience members who celebrate creativity with us, I hope the festival is an inspiring experience. We have limitations of facilities and resources, but what we do have, we celebrate – and that is the love of the story, the need to tell and even more, the need to listen. We do it for applause, and we do it to applaud each other. During our longer and colder than usual winter just passed, I enjoyed rereading many of the authors who are on the program this year. I think this is an important exercise – to re-read the books on our shelves, to rendezvous with those who are writing those books, and to affirm the capacity to know and participate in creation.

The last line in B.H. Fairchild’s poem To My Friend captivates me: “the small darknesses we never see.” Something about this phrase sings poetry. It haunts those realities we feel, the fears and failures we sense, the joy we want to believe in. It points to the incalculable value of the creative arts. For us, authors and audience, these three days together may offer us the chance to see something that often eludes us. Together, we can at least look for it – whatever the “it” is for you at this time. Part of “it” for me is the recent loss of my favorite Uncle Max, who was one of the last links to my Hungarian ancestry, raised by my Great Grandparents Gustava and Julia, the family historian, the storyteller who knew well and paid attention to those from the “Old Country.” The last stanza of a tribute poem I wrote about Uncle Max may speak to what Fairchild imagines, and hopefully it includes you and your participation in this wonderful but all-too-short experience we live together:

See the surf – the waves beat
Against the shore but look out, look away
From this harsh moment and see
How the bay settles
Into endless beauty the way prairie grass
Flows forever in the wind
That calls us home
                       
So I invite you to take part in as much as you can, make a friend, offer a ride, listen with good ears, laugh and love, even as we think about loss. To those who feel my use of nature is too sentimental, I leave you with one of my recent rough drafts, after thinking about Fairchild’s line and other matters, peace J


Three Days in April

Like a junkie
I keep coming back
Scissortail – I bet I’ve said or typed that word
A couple thousand times just this year alone –
It is the bird that makes me scratch
I cannot help myself
On my knees before you muttering
Hair messed up, unshaven, sleepless
All this for a fix
All my days, all my nights
Amount to nothing more than running scared
Afraid the last ecstasy will be the last
Worried sick that when I come down
Next time won’t bring me back up

Until it returns – gets me off, I float
In the freedom of language, the overdose
Of image and sound – Word.

For three days in April my itch is salved
Tripping far away and I am high
Where no bird could fly


Ken Hada

April 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scissortail 2014: The Poster


Winners of the 10th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

Poetry Winners
First Place: Shannon Abbott, "Aurora", Norman North
Second Place: Neena Alavicheh, "Reflections in Leaves" , Yukon High School
Third Place: James Bratton, "The Port", Norman North

Honorable Mentions:
Larissa Lynch, "Mac's," Walters High School
Erin Haastrup, "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," Union High School (Tulsa)
Makayla Leann Bray, "Seven Plays of a Pawn," Ada High School
Alexis Skrunack, "This is Where I Am," Walters High School
Victoria Quiroga, "The Old Mill," Lawton High School
Dominique Bradley, "Ode to My Father," Lawton High School
Samantha Huckabay, "Dad Never Cooked Much," Norman North
Aubrey Crynes, "By Sophomore Year," Norman North
Sara Ishaq, "Alien," Norman North
Tanner Capehart, "After the Rain Dance," Sallisaw High School

Fiction Winners
First Place: Peter Biles. “The Patriot.” Latta High School. (Teacher: Holly Wood)
Second Place: Katelyn Elrod. “Remembering Audrey.” Chickasha High School. (Teacher: Jo Perryman)
Third Place: Sara Ishaq. “A Portrait of Genevieve Poole.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)

Honorable Mention
Whitney Stewart. “Therapy.” Moore High School. (Teacher: Eileen Worthington)
Misty Jeter. “The Singing Bird Flies Low: The Diary Of Harlequin Linchtstrahl.” Dickson High School. (Teacher: Jennifer Moore)
Jenny Corbin. “Screaming.” Bridge Creek High School. (Teacher: Leslie Munhollon)
Justin Wu. “Out of Time.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Andrew Mather. “Spatty.” Bartlesville High School. (Teacher: Darla Tresner)
Spencer Yue. “Tintoror.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Aryn Alderman. “Dream World.” Norman High School. (Teacher: Kaysi Sullivent)
Subhieh Matar. “Dark Detective.” Deer Creek High School. (Teacher: Jason Stephenson)
Jamie Lim. “When Lightning Strikes.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Ella Parsons. “Phantomes du Louvre.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)

"Aurora" by Shannon Abbott


Sweep me off my feet and carry me
Away through dense oak forests and mountain ranges high
Stretching up and up until they’ve mastered the clouds.

Take my hand and lead me
Away over the lakes so deep,
And fields of luscious green,
Sunlit and smiling.


Then pick me back up and show me the way
Under the watchful eyes of the midnight stars with
Stardust in my pocket to guide us in the
Blackest caves,
Silver shimmering on my fingers.


Do not stop until we arrive
The snow crisp and cool and beautiful beneath our feet
The tundra on its wedding day
And the bouquet tossed so high that the moon catches it
And laughs a twinkling laugh
Sending dancing petals across the sky

Remnants of roses red and lilacs purple.

"Reflections in Leaves" by Neena Alavicheh


Autumn is lonely.
Dead leaves take to running with the wind,
Their tiny legs skittering against the brown grass
In a dance of nostalgia and breathless laughter.

Wind fills my lungs,
And its scent is sweet and cold
As it infects my soul with a deep longing.
My hair flows with it, wildly yet gently stroking my face.
And I hear the footsteps of days long gone,
And of people whose voices are background noise to my journey.

Will I remember them?
Perhaps not, but like the warmth of my coffee, they linger
For now.
Clouds, in the brilliant blue sky, we float away from the older days.
But the sun warms my heart and calms my wanderlust.
Perhaps for forever I will live in this moment
Of warmth and contentment

Of dead leaves and the sweet, lonely smell of fall.