Inside the Core this week, we are celebrating the work of a Core student, Jodiann Morgan, who has published a volume of poetry, Broken Pieces into a Whole: Where All Pieces Come Together. In the Core we have celebrated many faculty achievements in the world of publication. However, this is the first time we are focusing on a student author.
I learned about Jodiann's accomplishment from Prof. Melinda Papaccio, English and Core professor, who met Jodiann through the service-learning option Melinda has spear-headed, the I-Thirst ministry for addicts. Jodiann was among the many Core students who chose to work in this challenging and inspiring service opportunity, linked to Core classes and offered through the CCRE.
Jodiann, when I was connected with her through Prof. Papaccio, sent me some information I requested about her book. She says, "My goal is to mainly address girls and women at the ages of 14 and up. Also, although I am affiliated with the Christian religious denomination, I did not want my poem to only strike the attention of those of my same affiliation. Hence, I have sold copies to atheists, Muslims, and other religious/spiritual affiliations to introduce them to who my God is and to reflect on their knowledge of themselves as well by simply looking through a different mirror."
Jodiann believes her poems can serve as a mirror, so others can look at themselves reflected in her own experience. She goes on to say, "The poems that I have written are ones that I did my best to introduce the most fragile and complex challenges and common difficulties of my life that other girls and women have experienced or are experiencing at the peak of their personal development." In these trying times, people in general and young people in particular are facing a lot of anxiety and struggle. Jodiann's poetry is helping to address these problems for her intended audience, particularly those going through the following: "(1) the death and birth of our spiritual journeys, (2) embracing our darkest days in our illumination (3) inviting brokenness to influence our wholeness, and (4) self-reconciliation."
The poems would be appropriate both for personal reflection as well as for discussion in a group setting. Specifically, Jodiann sees the book as being potentially "used in a diverse discussion particularly based on the theme of personal development and discovering our identities as God's creations. Also, the themes of depression, pain, and rejection are ones that can be used for private discussions for people who are in their process of acceptance for healing." She has already gotten significant exposure for her book, as she spoke on a local radio talk show a few months ago. Although she has not yet participated in discussion groups about her book, she is very open to that idea.
Seton Hall is proud of the accomplishments of its students, and the Core is extremely proud that a Core student, involved in significant service learning in her class, also has found time to publish a volume of meaningful and relevant poetry. Jodiann is pursuing her studies in the dual-degree program for a B.S.E in Special Education/Elementary and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology. She says, "With this expansive opportunity, I will strive to integrate my writing within my career to network with others and carve out a creative space for young children to express themselves confidently as they discover their new voices." We look for more to come from this young author.
Categories: Faith and Service