Gender & Women’s Studies Hosts First Things First Creative Writing Event

On Friday, April 29, the WKU Gender & Women’s Studies program collaborated with Hope Harbor, Inc. to host First Things First on Facebook Live. Shelbyville, Ky., senior, Kayla Spears, Central City, Ky., junior Ariel Alexander and Bowling Green, Ky., junior Jess Hughes read their creative writings on topics including body image and mental illness. The readings were followed by a Q&A with the authors, who shared their inspirations, struggles, and overall relationship with writing.

“This event is important because it not only allows us to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Prevention Month, but it also allows our students to have their voices and their stories heard,” said Professor Jessica Folk, who has co-organized the event.

Alexander, a double major in acting and creative writing, read her poem “Three Days’ Time,” which is about the loneliness associated with growing up in a household that stigmatizes mental health.

“It’s the first time I’ve shared my poetry with an audience in a professional way, and it was honestly liberating,” Alexander said. “It kind of gives you a new perspective on your talents, and it makes you want to share more.”

More information on how to donate to Hope Harbor can be found here. To keep up to date with events on gender and women’s studies, visit the Gender and Women’s Studies program.