For Great Books Honors student Thomas Bradley, the arts represent a way of releasing the bottled-up emotion inside when spoken words prove too weak.
His release? Writing poetry.
It’s a skill the Faulkner University sophomore has nurtured for most of his life and one that recently gained the attention of a national publishing company for his poem, “Pantoum to the Faye.”
“For me poetry is saying something because I don’t know how to say it,” Bradley said. “It’s putting feelings that you can’t normally put into words into some form of concrete ideas.”
Z Publishing House reached out to him and several other Faulkner students after finding their submissions in last year’s Images in Ink, a university creative arts publication through the Department of English that highlights original poetry, short stories, art, and photography.
The publishing company is currently scouring Alabama’s universities to find the next up-and-coming young authors for a national anthology that will be published at a later date.
Great Books Honors students Danni Connelly, Lindsey Justus and Breanna Newton were also contacted, as was former English graduate Charisa Hagel.
Bradley submitted about five different selections to Z Publishing and will again submit an original poem for consideration to Images in Ink. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit by the deadline on February, 28. In celebration of Faulkner’s 75th anniversary, this year’s Images in Ink will be a larger volume themed, “Building the City of God through Christian Education: Past, Present, and Future,” said Andrew Jacobs, Ph.D. and director of GBH.
Jacobs has already begun reaching out to currently Faulkner family to represent the present, Alabama Christian Academy students to represent the future, and Faulkner alumni to represent the past. Not only has Images in Ink highlighted bright and promising works of English and art throughout the years, it has proven rewarding for students.
“Having an outside publisher recognize value in the creative endeavors of Faulkner students simply demonstrates the quality of the submissions themselves and the excellence of her students.,” Jacobs said. “It’s easy for a biased party to identify merit in a student and his or work. The opinion of a more objective third party often lends more weight.
“Likewise, that a majority of those recognized by Z Publishing House were Great Books Honors students attests to the quality of the students in the program. These are students with not only academic ability, but aesthetic talent as well.”
Since coming to Faulkner, Bradley has been a part of the Great Books Honors program and quickly found it was one of his favorite classes each semester. Not only for the books they read, but for the discussions that stemmed from them, an area where Bradley has grown in and grown to love.
“With Great Books, it has developed my ability to see someone else’s viewpoint than my own selfish mentality that I am the only one who’s right,” Bradley said. “It’s developed my character and taught me how to restrain myself from heated debates and instead have academic discourse without fear of judgment.
“It’s not an argument or a fight, it’s just a discussion, and it’s more like a family in that way.”
Bradley is currently majoring in forensic psychology and hopes to be a social worker.
Images in Ink accepts submissions in the form of poetry, prose, photography, paintings or drawings. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.