What is the significance of literature in our lives?

"A work of art, of literature especially, and a poem, in particular, addresses a man tête-à-tête, entering with him into direct - free of any go-betweens - relations." Brodsky, J., (1987). Uncommon Visage. 

UNYP considers community life to be one of the cornerstones of the education it provides. Joining our student clubs is the best way to make friends, have fun and take part in activities. With up to a dozen officially registered clubs listed in the University's Student Clubs & Activities, there is something for everybody. This month we want to bring your attention to Papers & Ink, which started as a student poetry society and grew into a public Prague-based literature and creative writing club. We asked Andy Sharafeldin (UNYP Psychology student and the founder of the Papers & Ink Club) to share his thoughts on the importance of this project. 

The University of New York in Prague welcomes the contribution made to student life by clubs, societies, and other organizations. 

Andy says: "Papers & Ink started as a Poetry club, but soon we found out that many of our members are interested in writing song lyrics and prose. So we decided to keep it open for any sorts of creative writing because our point is to give people a platform to express their thoughts and share their art with a broader public during our Open Mic nights. We recently decided to introduce a workshop element to it, with the help of James Lord, UNYP's Professor of English Composition and Introduction to Literature." 

He continues: "The performances are not limited to English, we encourage people who write in different languages to perform as well, all you need is to provide a printed translation of your text to the audience prior the performance. We have people reading their works in Czech, Arabic, French, and Russian..."

Andy started writing poetry very early in his own life: "For me, this is a creative and almost therapeutic outlet, which helps to put my thoughts and feelings together. I think that any kind of artistic expression is healthy and beneficial for people, not necessarily connected to this sphere. Even as a hobby, it could be a relaxing activity to ease tension or stress. I encourage people to attend our events, even as an audience. It might not be your cup of tea, but we would love your company… Plus we always have pizza, so there’s that." 

Language and literature are the carriers of civilization, and they are more durable than any form of social organization. Poetry can help to place people in a new light, distinguishing themselves from the crowd. Through creative writing, we can get an insight into our fellow human beings and see the world from multiple perspectives, as the written word conveys the emotions, experiences and psychological explanations of human behaviors. 

There are definite benefits in both reading and writing. Learning how to write well and write effectively is helpful in most contemporary careers: business, marketing, science, tech, etc. Write at your desk, write in your journal, and scribble things down at work – for yourself first, and not for anyone else. Joining the Papers & Ink Club is recommended for those who want to master their Creative Writing skills and have a good time. Assert your opinions, and develop a unique voice!

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