By Megan Mortman
It was a spectacular evening at Broward College for the 3rd annual Literary Feast. Bailey Hall was filled with both students and professors to celebrate the inspiring journeys of Broward College and Florida Atlantic University professors. They shared their other passions other than teaching such as writing, photography, and painting. Jazz music, food, and interacting with the guests were just a few of the many wonderful aspects of the night. One of the event’s organizers Sunem-Beaton-Garcia played a great role in creating a wonderful evening.
BC English professor and author Neil Plakcy loves writing mystery fiction, and uses teaching English as a tool for his own writing. “As a teacher I talk about writing all day long” and “think about word choice.” Plakcy has written 19 books including Mahu Blood and says he gets his inspiration from “all different places” and writes for at least an hour every day, even heading to Starbucks to get work done. I asked many of the professors what advice they would give aspiring writers and the answer was consistent-read and write. BC professor Elisa Albo stated, “be engaged, live, participate” and don’t be afraid to try new things and experience life. Plakcy couldn’t have said it any better: “writing is like a muscle, the more you use it the better you become.” Albo primarily writes poetry, including A Passage to America which she attributes to childhood memories and what is going on in the world today. She stated how ironic it is that the older we get the more we write about our childhood because it is such an important aspect in everyone’s lives. Karen Esteves of FAU has illustrated and written her books beautifully such as The Unicorn, and says she “always has a camera” with her. Her books are about taking a journey and “seizing the moment.” She loves writing with her nieces and nephews, drawing, and taking lovely pictures. BC Professor David Joseph has written his first book, Saving Leslie Jones: Rebirth of Spirit in Man and Horse, featuring essays and stories and striking photography. Joseph was inspired by a horse named Leslie Jones who was abandoned but thankfully rescued.
Joseph has worked with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and has also been a columnist for magazines and newspapers such as Sun Sentinel. A common component of the night was learning and experiencing all the diverse processes each professor goes through to create their dynamic piece of literature and art.
Another event organizer Judi Tidwell was most awestruck by the number of students who participated in the event. When asked what she wanted students to take away from this celebration, she responded, “that their professors are more then what you see in class.” The event accomplished that and so much more as students immersed themselves in the talented professionals that participated and gave them an opportunity to see their professors in a whole new light. It was a captivating feast and next years will be equally majestic.