Manuscript Society celebrates 70 years, holds gathering


Megan Stanley

Elyse Guziewicz, the executive editor of the magazine, stands at the podium to introduce each speaker at the gathering.

The Wilkes’ Manuscript Society recently held a Manuscript Gathering during Homecoming to celebrate the group’s 70th anniversary.

The event, which was held in Kirby Hall on Saturday, Oct. 7, gathered current members and alumni of the society to read their favorite pieces from past editions.

The Manuscript Society publishes a yearly magazine titled Manuscript filled with written and visual art from students and staff. The society started in 1947, making this year’s edition the organization’s 70th edition.

This 70th edition will feature creative writing and art from current students, as well as special picks from past editions.

At the event, multiple readers spoke, including editors and staff Elyse Guziewicz, Mackenze Egan, Megan Stanley, and multiple members of the English faculty including Dr. Mischelle B. Anthony, department chair.

The poetry included in the gathering had a diverse mix of topics, including the season of Fall, Helen of Troy, and middle-class working life.

Elyse Guziewicz, current executive editor, smiled with pride while speaking on her own experiences with the society.

“I came to the first meeting in 2014, bright eyed and bushy tailed, 17 years old, ready to take over the world,” she said. “I’m almost 21, and still haven’t learned that taking over the world isn’t really a productive task.”

“It’s such an honor to be part of a tradition that’s consisted longer than Wilkes University has.” The Manuscript Society started while Wilkes University was still Bucknell Junior College.

Guziewicz’s mother, Melissa Guziewicz, also spoke at the event, reading some of her daughter’s own poetry.

“When I actually wrote, and I had a poem published, it was mediocreelyse, and that’s OK, but then God took whatever skill I had and instilled it down and He created Elyse.”

Dr. Helen Davis, an associate professor of the English department, also read one of her own personal poems.

“This actually came to me about a parenting mistake, those of you who are parents know my sentiments,” said Davis. Davis read a series of haikus about her relationship with her children.

“Are you mad at me?/Whispered in my ear/Shameful reprimand,” started Davis’ poetry.

Dr. Sean Kelly, one of the faculty advisors for the Manuscript Society, read an autumnal poem called “Fall” by Dennis Tucker, a former writer at Wilkes University.

One of the faculty advisers, Dr. Sean Kelly, spoke on the organization’s impact on his life, despite only being involved for a few years.

“As a new faculty member trying to learn the ropes, advising the Manuscript Society gave me the opportunity to interact closely with students and to form friendships with other faculty. For me personally, serving as the faculty adviser for the Manuscript has been for the most deeply awarding aspect of my experience at Wilkes.”

Kelly, along with other faculty and students, marveled at the historical and cultural significance of the older editions. Kelly mentioned the ability to track cultural and societal movements through past students’ writings, but also spoke of their similarities.

“Whether from 1975 or 1995 or 2015, each manuscript bears the peculiar mark of the imagination, passion, and artistic ambition of Wilkes students and writers.”