Lit Lounge torch passed to Mongin

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Lit Lounge torch passed to Mongin

Maui Viola, Staff Reporter


In Spring of 2019, sophomore creative writing major Amira Mongin will take on the task of overlooking the Lit Lounge Club. 

The Lit Lounge Book Club was founded by Community Relations Manager Gina Covelli before Lakeland took on the title of University. Around 2014, the club was created as a way for Lakeland community to get together to discuss various books.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]Professor of Creative Writing and Poet in Residence Karl Elder noted his thoughts on Covelli’s notion for starting the Book Club. He stated that he believed it was because we had a Community Book read and the Lit Lounge became a version of this. 

Lakeland’s librarian Teresa Grimm took over after Covelli and has “done a stellar job keeping us going” according to Elder. Now, Mongin will take over after Grimm. 

Lit Lounge Book Clubs are held during the last week of every month. Currently, it is on Wednesdays, but is susceptible to change for the incoming spring semester. It is held in the Campus Center Entrepreneur Studio from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Members in the club pick out books and share their thoughts in free discussion. There have also been times when an author of a chosen book comes to campus for an interview in an open forum manner.  

Currently, the program is attended by mostly creative writing students and faculty and staff members in the field of writing. However, Elder and Mongin are eager to let students and others know that everyone is welcome to join. According to Elder, “People who have never tried it would be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the experience of the Book Club is.” 

Mongin’s responsibilities vary from “making sure the entrepreneur room is always open for us, making sure that there is going to be drinks and food available, just picking out what books there will be and reminding everyone when and where the book clubs would be.” 

For Mongin, increasing student attendance is the focus of her goals: “My first time going into the book club was very intimidating because there were so many faculty members. I want to make it feel more welcoming and open.” 

Mongin saw that having a student head the program could increase student interest and noted this as a reason to why Assistant Professor of Writing Jodie Mortag picked her. Mongin also vocalized that Mortag and her have worked together closely before and said “she knows how hard working I am since she’s gotten a good sense of my work ethic” as another reason she was picked for the task. 

Mongin is required to have two credit hours of an internship for her major, and saw this as great experience to do something she enjoys for her internship: “I love reading, and I haven’t had a chance to read a lot because schoolwork is always in the way, so I figured this would give me a timeline to read.” Mongin explain that this was a determining factor in her decision to take on this new task.[Text Wrapping Break] 

“I am a little nervous because I know a couple professors have put the expectations up a little high,” Mongin said. “I feel like I can rise to the challenge. It’ll definitely need a lot of work to get up to their expectations, but it’s going to be worth it because it will create a more welcoming family between us.”

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