Writing As Truth

Aimee Caron, a member of the Essence of Poetry club speaking at the event. (Photo courtesy of twitter.com/msmc_writing)

by Christine Urio

The Writing Center, along with Essence of Poetry, hosted Writing As Truth on Tues., Oct. 14, where they discussed how memoir, philosophy, and poetry can be used to establish truth.

Ms. Gina Evers, the Writing Center Director, hosted the event and set the stage by asking the broad question of “What is truth?”

“Truth can be found in the accountability of the news; it can be in historical facts; it can be found in research and even fairytale morals,” she said.

Truth can even be found in memoirs, but it is debated if this genre should be classified as a vehicle for it.

“A Million Little Pieces,” by James Frey, discusses his struggle with addiction. However, a scandal evolved around the book, for it was discovered that some of the material was fabricated and caused people to ask how one can tell if an author’s perspective on an experience is true.

Maya Angelo wrote “Why The Caged Bird Sings,” a memoir that talks about her sexual assault. In order to avoid an issue of fraud, she enchanted herself back to the time of when the event was happening.

“Facts can get in the way of human truth,” she said. “I didn’t write something told because facts can be obscure. If it tells a human truth, than people all over will say ‘yes, that’s the truth.’”

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Charles Zola, added another layer of perspective to what truth is.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, truth is the adequation of the thing and the mind. Because truth exists in the mind when it understands reality of the world, there is a correspondence between the mind and the world.

The three main ways to communicate truth is informative, directive, and emotive.

While the informative conveys facts and presents arguments, directive causes or prevents actions, and emotive expresses emotions and attitudes as sincere or insincere.

“Words can make things happen,” he said. “Saying ‘we’re not friends,’ ‘I do,’ or taking a presidential oath changes our reality.”

The event closed with original readings from the Essence of Poetry Club with performances by Tadeusz Loacra, Anne Eisner, Aimee Caron, and Angelo Pacheco, who incorporated the theme of truth in their own writings.

While Loacra and Eisner incorporated the Latin translation of the saying, “Show me the truth,” Caron and Pacheco took truth on a more personal level.

“I wanted my piece to show how I want to experience everything in life to its fullest potential,” explained Caron. “By doing this, I feel as if I’m living truthfully.”

The event brought to light the depth of our school motto and was a successful edition to Spirit of the Mount Week, reminding students to take a moment and reflect amid the school competition.