Vince Bauters, Analecta, 2008, editor

February 27, 2008

By Eric Gingerich

 Instead of the standard article, we would like to give the stage to Vince Bauters, editor of this year’s Analecta. He recently organized an open mic night on campus to provide student writers a platform for their art and to give them the opportunity to submit their work. This is Vince on the creative writing scene at IU South Bend, and the future of the creative arts in the South Bend area.

E.G.: From your perspective, what is the current state of the creative writing scene at IU South Bend?

V.B.: It’s exploding, but with intelligence. Exploding implies a certain degree of chaos or randomness, the creative writing scene certainly has the impulse and the magnitude of an explosion, but it’s not out of control. I see writers communicating, and that’s by far the best thing. They are all in touch with each other, rooting for one another, encouraging and editing their creative work. It’s really becoming a family. It has the dynamics of a family, concern and pride. And that’s really quite a beautiful thing.

E.G.: What can be done to increase the visibility of the creative writing scene?

V.B.: I think events like the open mic are an excellent start. You have to allow people to show their interest. You have to believe that people care about creative writing. When people come to read poetry, then that concern has been acknowledged and fostered. But I think the English Dept. is on the right track. By inviting authors to come to campus and read their writing, you allow for a creative environment to exist. You fuel creativity. I think you need a mix of open mics, or ways for students to get involved, and then opportunities for students to see or hear other successful writers. At the same time, there has to be more creative writing courses. I think we’re doing better with that (having more classes). But you need the classes, because that’s what gives focus to writers’ inspiration.

E.G.: Is there a fundamental problem on this campus and/or in this community that would suggest the lack of involvement in creative arts? Or is there a lack of involvement to begin with?

V.B.: Some people might feel this way. But the truth is that people are meeting and getting together, sharing thoughts and ideas. The fact that we can have an open mic shows that there are people willing to be involved. You have to ask yourself how much involvement do you want. How many people do you want involved until you feel content? Half the campus population? Everyone? And you also need to keep in mind, that creative writing is kind of an after thought to many people. It’s something to do when you have the free time. But for the true creative writers, its something you do. A lifestyle. Not a hobby. I don’t think it’s a fundamental problem. I think its human nature. It’s survival. Many people don’t think we need poetry to survive. We need to show that we do. Not to make them all become poets. But to believe in the power of creative arts. And maybe to make them believe in themselves.

E.G.: What can you say about the work of the writers who read during the open mic?

V.B.: Incredible quality. I loved the range of style. From very Oscar Wilde-esque fiction, with writing that pays critical attention to color and lines and light and space and people, to poems that were almost like odes to the American Midwest, with characters trying to find happiness in baseball or liquor. The open mic was a testament to the creative prowess of our students. These people are pushing their writing to the boundary. They are utilizing everything around them to make what they’re saying as powerful and concentrated as possible. You can tell that these are very reflective and observant writers. They are very aware of themselves and the world they live in. And, above all, they seem to believe in the beauty of this world. There is always a saving grace found in these creative works. There is always a chance for hope. And I think that’s important. The chance for beauty is important. Not because we’re all fools and think everything will always be okay. But because we believe in the world. And we know it’s not ending any time soon.

E.G.: Can you make a guess as to the future of the Analecta or to the “South Bend creative writers”—those people who live locally and are actively writing / pursuing their art? Put another way, what would you like to see happen to the creative writing scene on campus and in the South Bend area?

V.B.: Well, they’re not going away. I think we’re all apart of this place, for better or for worse. I think more people are curious and interested in writing, or at least being apart of something that is bigger than themselves. These writers are giving fulfillment to their audience through their writing. They are doing something special and magical, and I think that kind of magic catches on. People are a little lost, because of technology. We want something human, something organic. And maybe now more than, say, in the last 20 years. Some of the thrill of technology has scared us away. People want to be around other people. They want to talk about their feelings. And they want to be brought back to the real world. So, with that said, the South Bend writers are only going to keep gaining momentum. I don’t think we have an objective or hidden priority. We are just writing, and because of that sincerity, people will join us. I’d like to see people fight off being content. I’d like to see us believe in ourselves and the world. I’d like to see this sort of amity and passion survive.

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2 Responses to “Vince Bauters, Analecta, 2008, editor”

  1. Eric Bauters Says:

    Vince is cool im from michigan he might know me tell him hi!!!!!Bye

  2. AS Says:

    This interview could be read at an open mic; VB’s words are thought-provoking and lovely. Well done. I’d like to hear what his thoughts are these days…

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