By Matt Holsapple
Western Colorado University’s creative writing club, WordHorde, was originally exclusively a spoken word club; it served as a platform for students to create and perform works of poetry. But, after facing a decrease in attendance it is being reformed into a place where all forms of creative writing— be it spoken, written, or otherwise— are welcomed and encouraged.
In 1964 Bob Dylan released an album, the essence of which proclaimed, “for the times they are a-changin’.” This idea is personified and actualized in all facets of one’s life, WordHorde is no different. This semester it is under a new leadership group, led by sophomore and Creative Writing Major Matt Holsopple.
The goal is to go through a complete reimagining and rebranding. Faculty Advisor Dr. Steven Coughlin said he envisions the club becoming “a place for people that love language, creativity, or simply celebrating the arts.” This mantra is carried over into the club where most of the members are majoring in the humanities, although, Holsopple says they hope to get more people of more majors into their meetings in the future.
WordHorde, whose attendance has already increased significantly, is gaining the reputation of being a community amongst its members. “[WordHorde] is a community where I can write and be around similar people without feeling like a nerd,” said Isabel Stollsteimer, a Freshman English major and Philosophy minor.
In most any meeting one can catch the members writing responses to outlandish prompts such as: “A new modern apartment complex is now open, and you’re one of the first to apply for one of its one-bedroom luxury apartments.
Less than a week after you move in, tenants start disappearing. Then someone leaves a gift basket at your door…” or playing other imaginative, writing-focused games meant to push members to think outside of the box while developing all types of writing skills at the same time.
While the times may be a-changin’ for this club, they will not be leaving the past completely behind. Spoken word will remain a fundamental part of the club as it serves as a medium through which the English language can be presented.
The mission statement says it all: “To explore, experiment, and educate within the field of Creative Writing, and to give all students a space where they can express themselves through the written and spoken word; and to carry these skills into the classroom and beyond.”
In the future, Holsopple says WordHorde will be working to host more events outside of their normal meeting times such as workshop nights to hone one’s written work, poetry in the park, ZOOM author readings, along with various other events.
The club meets every other Thursday at 12:30 PM in TAY 100.