Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

After a grueling winter of only white and gray suffocating the skies and landscape of West Chester, the vibrant, perky colors of spring will be a welcome change. Color can influence a person’s mood, the amount of attention he or she gives to an object, and so much more. A bright, sunny day with green grass, blue sky, and pink or purple flowers generally elicits a much better mood than a rainy day with dark gray clouds and murky brown puddles. Color affects not only what is seen with the eyes, but also what is seen with the mind. Works of literature often employ the use of certain colors to promote theme, emotion, and/or character traits. In April, the English Club will be hosting two events focused around the importance and effects of color in literature, film, and design, sponsored by the SSI Sykes Student Union.

The English Club itself is anything but black and white. The club’s only requirement is general interest in anything English related: literature, creative writing, Open Mic nights, novels, short stories, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, the list is endless. Meetings are held in Sykes Student Union, room 254 every Monday night from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The topics of the meetings come in a rainbow of colors. Past meetings included discussions of authors and poets like Shel Silverstein and H.P. Lovecraft, books like “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” how to tell a ghost story, how to write a good love poem, and English-themed board games.

But the English Club is more than just meeting and discussing some aspect of this book or that author. The Club organizes monthly Open Mic Nights during which any student can attend and/or perform. The acts include music, poetry, short stories, comedy, rap, dance, and any other creative performance students wish to present. For students who would like to publish such creative pieces, Literati is the English Club’s literary magazine, produced annually, which accepts submissions of poems, short stories, artwork, and photographs from all West Chester University students (members and non-members). Look out for English Club book sales around campus to purchase the 2014 edition of Literati.

In April of 2013, the English Club—thanks to the “Year of Paper” grant—was able to host the Paper Detective, Carter Hailey, for a talk about his work with Shakespeare’s folios. The Club was also able to peek at Shakespeare’s Folios in the Francis Harvey Green Library. This spring, the English Club will be hosting two events for the Year of Color.

On April 17, the Club will be screening “The Green Mile,” the film adaptation of the novel written by Stephen King. The film tells the story of prison guards and prisoners on death row through the eyes of guard, Paul Edgecombe. From title to tile, this film emphasizes colors themselves—the color of the skin of prisoners, victims, and guards, the color of the linoleum leading to the electrical chair—and stresses that there is no color for guilt and no color for innocence. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend this film screening on April 17 in Sykes Theatre from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and watch the effects of color on the prisoners and guards that walk the Green Mile.

Similar to last year’s “Year of Paper” event, the English Club will be hosting another speaker at West Chester University on April 22 for the “Year of Color.” This year, the English Club is hosting Kimberly Glyder, the award-winning principal of a Philadelphia book design firm. Well-known national and international publishers have utilized designs from her firm. During her talk, Glyder will be discussing the artistic choices behind specific colors in cover design and explaining the connection between book cover designs/colors and the content of the books. An exhibit of enlarged book covers will accompany her presentation, so the audience will be able to see the progression of the covers of a few classic books over multiple editions. As with the screening of “The Green Mile,” all are welcome to attend Kimberly Glyder’s color presentation from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in the Special Collections section (top floor) of the FHG library and have a look at the evolution and influence of color in book cover design.

Color is everywhere: sometimes bright or startling enough to evoke close attention and sometimes dull or commonplace enough to fly under the radar. Noticed or not, all colors have an effect on those who see them, read them, or employ them. The upcoming events hosted by the English Club will open eyes to the theme of the “Year of Color.”

Allison Cleary is a second-year student majoring in English writing education. She can be reached at

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