It was a college initiative to share poems and short stories with children at a community fall festival and the chance to be published in a literary magazine that provided the motivation for Carlo Lingesso's "A Natural Departure."
Lingesso, a communications major at Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC), was one of 23 student writers to respond to English instructor Andrea Vinci's request to submit original work for a community literacy event co-sponsored by RCGC, the Rowan University Writing Arts Department and Philadelphia Stories, a literary magazine. The project provided creative students the opportunity to showcase their talents while also giving back to the community. Inspired by the autumn foliage, Lingesso admitted that his winning seven-line poem took only about five minutes to write.
"I received an email about the writing contest and thought, why not?" said Lingesso, who has been penning poetry for about two years and is in the process of composing a poetry book. "I began writing poetry due to my love for music and film, but lack of talent in both areas. I love the fact that both platforms tell their own style of stories so I wanted to try my hand at it."
For Vinci, the response she received from the students exceeded her goal — that one of RCGC's poets was chosen to be published was a bonus. "I was excited to see how many of our students willingly participated in this event and shared their talent as young writers with members of the South Jersey community," she said.
Lingesso is no stranger to sharing his feelings about love, depression and societal issues with others, using his website and social media to circulate his poetry. The Marlton author also applies a more unusual approach to get his work noticed, at times using an old-fashioned typewriter to craft his pieces and strategically placing poems in public places. Friends call him the "wandering poet" because of his propensity for leaving poems on display in a variety of locations, such as at drugstores, coffee shops, bookstores, gift shops and on the RCGC campus. Recently, an individual contacted Lingesso about one of his poems, which addressed self-image issues, explaining that the piece resonated and touched her.
"I write for myself in a sense of relaying my thoughts, feelings and life experiences onto paper for people to enjoy and have emotional responses to," said Lingesso. "In my opinion, the most satisfying reward from writing is hearing somebody's passionate and genuine response to one of my works."
Lingesso's winning poem, "A Natural Departure," can be read online in Philadelphia Stories Winter 2017 issue at philadelphiastories.org/junior.
For more information about RCGC's Communications program, visit RCGC.edu/LiberalArts.
Rowan College at Gloucester County is located on a 250-acre campus on Tanyard Road, Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.