~from Michaela Hayes
Recently, representatives from the CSU English department and the Poudre Valley Public library gathered to lead a discussion on Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel Beloved. The discussion was the first of the season for the Fort Collins book club appropriately named “Rekindle the Classics.”
Rekindle the Classics was started several years ago by CSU English professor Ellen Brinks. As stated by Lynn Shutters, also a professor of English at CSU, “The basic idea behind the program is that a lot of people are curious about ‘classic’ literature, but might be a little intimidated by it, or might want someone with whom they can talk about it, or might just want to have a regular monthly meeting to encourage them to actually read that book. Rekindle the Classics is a program for those people.” Rekindle now meets once a month during the academic year, always at the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House, to discuss a new (or old!) book.
Each discussion is led by a different member of the CSU English department, faculty and students alike. This particular discussion was led by Kelly Weber, an MFA student in the poetry program. After the meeting, Weber spoke to her love for the novel and how it has inspired her transformation as a poet: “It was the first book that really got to me. I think it’s the book that introduced me to real poetry before I liked poems.” As Weber led the discussion, her enthusiasm for the novel radiated from her in waves.
As a fellow English student, I understand this enthusiasm fully. There’s a very specific and very beautiful light that only a person talking about their favorite book can emit. We English majors live for it.
Rekindle the Classics will be meeting again in October, but with a different discussion leader and book. Next month, they will be discussing The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft. Anyone in the community who would like to come is welcome; the more diverse the group, the more lively the discussion. As put by Lynn Shutters, “ Everyone has something to bring to the table. Discussions are lively and fun, smart but highly accessible. I encourage anyone who’s interested to show up for a session and check it out.” This English major agrees.