Aquí y allá (Here and There) is an online cultural journal published on an annual basis in conjunction with a Creative Writing Workshop taught in Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages. The instructor gives guided writing exercises on a weekly basis, and the students learn how to criticize each other’s work in constructive ways, incorporating the results of these discussions in additional drafts of their creative work, thereby taking it to a higher, even publishable, level. The themes of these poems, short stories, non-fictional works and photographs produced by the participants revolve around their personal study abroad experiences, primarily in Spain and Costa Rica, though also from ISEP programs in various Hispanic American countries. The workshop also attracts numerous Latino/a and international students, whose first language is Spanish. The workshop is the only place on campus where students can compare and contrast these abroad experiences as well as experiences about being a Spanish-speaker in the US, through the written word and classroom conversation. Toward the end of the semester, the students work collectively to gather their materials (poems, stories, and photos) for Aquí y allá. Each issue also features the work of one established contemporary writer from Spain or Hispanic America as a way of encouraging students to further their knowledge of potential literary models. The process of editing and producing the online journal also helps students become familiar with appropriate digital technologies.
April 29, 2019