Undead Poets Society Releases Video

Compiled by Staff

As part of the resurrection of the English Department’s Undead Poets Society, the club partnered with Chrysalis and Iron Blade for the coffee house on Oct. 27 in the Panther’s Den.

“Our group is enthusiastic about October and the Halloween season–I mean, it’s in the name!” said Dan Murphy, English Professor and co-moderator of the3 club. “When it became clear that we could partner for the Coffee House, our club leadership jumped on the opportunity. We had separately discussed both a ‘ghost story’ event and a film festival earlier in the year, so we decided to combine those events into a single contest just to encourage wider participation. Our hope was that poets, writers, and filmmakers alike could share their work in this venue.”

Murphy said that among all genres, “horror” is a great category for a contest like this. With some creativity and forethought, he said, one can assemble a properly suspenseful short-form narrative with minimal resources. It’s more time intensive and difficult, for instance, to put together a visually compelling three-minute action sequence.

“Horror is all about atmosphere,” Murphy said. “So it seemed like a great way to give students an occasion to work on a subset of related narrative techniques while also getting into the spirit of Halloween. Moreover, we all know that low-budget horror can be delightful and campy as all hell, so we were also hoping to get some funny, over-the-top monster fare!”

The Undead Poets Society is a reboot of the former English Club.

“We are a workshop that encourages student artists and provides a space for sharing in-progress projects, be they novels, short stories, poems, graphic novels, lyrics, screenplays, films, or other multimedia narratives,” Murphy said.

Murphy iterated that during the pandemic, the English Club lost momentum and, eventually, ceased operating.

“Professor Allison Harl had the idea to jumpstart the group this year; the intention was to promote student creativity and help build community. We are fortunate that Ferrum already has several robust and well-established English-related organizations, chiefly the Iron Blade and Chrysalis. Since these clubs are focused on publications, on generating a product in a timely fashion, we hoped our organization might complement these existing groups while offering something a little different.”

Murphy said the group is primarily an informal workshop and space for students to discuss or share in-progress artworks, be they literary projects, graphic novels, songs, or films.

“Since we want to be responsive to student interests, we’re somewhat free form. We know that creating can be difficult, so ours is a fun and encouraging environment. We do a lot writing games to spur creativity,” Murphy said.

He also said the group is still articulating its identity and developing a calendar of programs.

“Our club meetings provide opportunities for writing workshops, so our proper ‘events’ will be along the lines of film screenings, SLAM poetry and/or spoken word forums, Coffee House events, song-writing contests, and student film festivals,” Murphy said.

The club meets every Thursday in Britt from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and welcomes any and all writers.