All About Us- BYU’s English Society


Do you love literature?

Do you love to read and/or write?

Are you an English Major or Minor?

Are you interested in finding out more about career options with an English Degree?

Are you interested in becoming a part of a community of people with similar interests as you?


If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you’ve come to the right place! In addition to being a member of a community that loves literature and the English language, the English Society also offers insights to possible career paths, fun activities and social events, guides to surviving life as an English Major, AND SO MUCH MORE!

We are your classmates, friends, and even mentors, with one goal: To make your time here at Brigham Young University the BEST it can be. Whether it is helping you find your place amongst the crowds of people, pointing you in the right direction for success, or opening your mind up to the millions of possibilities and opportunities that are right in front of you- we are here for you! Plus, we will be hosting a Harry Potter (November) and Poe (October) Party this semester, and you don’t want to miss out on the fun!


So what are your waiting for? To get involved come to our OPENING SOCIAL this Thursday, September 15 at 5:00pm for games, food, and fun! We will also be introducing some of our officers as well as offering ways that you can get involved!

The English Society is the BEST Society. So join the fun now!

My Study Abroad Experience

by: Jacquelyn Dunn

JD Study Abroad

I had one objective in mind with my study abroad—make friends with people who had similar interests to mine. This seemed simple enough, especially since it was a Theatre and English study abroad in London, and who doesn’t love plays, books, and Britain? Even so, I was nervous. I’d traveled with groups before and always struggled to find people who I could really relate to. I was searching for people who would discuss ideas with me—people who weren’t afraid to have an opinion and stand up for it.

Luckily, the London Theatre program was full of such people. I was amazed after the first show we went to that everyone came out with outlooks completely different from mine, and they were more than willing to talk about it. Everyone was passionate about what they thought, but also willing to listen to the views of their peers. Pretty much every conversation ended with laughter and no hurt feelings, just expanded perspective and strengthened friendships.

JD Study Abroad 1

I remember one particular night after an especially intense production of Richard III. I was pretty shaken up about some of the content of the play and needed to discuss it, so a friend and I made our way to a café that was open late. We started talking about the play, but our conversation soon morphed into a deep discussion about our philosophies on education and family life. We talked for hours and commented multiple times about the fact that we were sitting in a European café while discussing idea, just like hundreds of great minds before us. I remember walking home that night and feeling an overwhelming amount of love for my friend and gratitude for the experiences we were having.

JD Study Abroad 2

Throughout the program, I came to consider everyone as a friend, but I was worried that when we all returned home and the magic ended our friendships would dissolve in the rush school, work, and other commitments. We all promised to keep in touch, but how often do people actually keep those kinds of promises? Only the best kinds of people, and fortunately for me, my study abroad friends were the best. Since we were spread out all summer from California to Thailand, we kept up with one another through Facebook messenger. We shared funny videos and memes, talked about articles we were reading, and encouraged each other on almost a daily basis. When we all got back to school this fall our reunion was sweet. We fell right back into our habits of discussion and it was like we were right back in London.

JD Study Abroad 3

The people I met on my study abroad experience are some of my favorite humans. They’re brilliant, kind, funny, and supportive; their friendship made the London Theatre Study Abroad the best part of my college experience to date.


Another Successful Slam

Even with drawbacks of hosting on Labor Day Weekend, the crowd at the Wall last Saturday did not fail to impress, with 220 people in attendance. And the performers brought their A-game too!

Many poets recalled adventures over the summer, Eston Dunn talked about his potentially drug-dealing roommates, and Jenny Rollins hit hard at what it actually means to go through divorce. Austin Jones opened strong in defense of English Majors everywhere in a poem that would eventually earn him the title of Best Overall performance of the night.

The entry price for the slam was a total of 17 syllables in the form of a haiku, and 16 people were called up from the audience during half-time for the haiku off. The four winners then went onto a second round at the end of the slam with improvised haikus including the word of the day: Fist-fight.


Special Congratulations to our winners! From left to right: Comedy (Katie Jarvis), Haiku Champion, Romance (David Bates), BestOverall (Austin Jones), and Dark Horse (Anneka Winder)!

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to this slam, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for the next amazing event!


Our Top 10 Books to Read This Fall


Another season, another semester which means another list of books to conquer. If you are looking for a place to start, we can help! Check out The English Society’s Top 10 picks to read this semester!

“I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith.


Based in the 1930s, Cassandra and Rose Mortmain are the daughters of a peculiar author suffering from writer’s block. Living in a run-down castle, Cassandra plots to end their financial struggles involving two American men, a slimy photographer, and the dungeon of the castle tower. -Eliza Howard

‘The Latehomecomer’ by Kao Kalia Yang.


The target of genocide in retaliation for aiding the Americans in the Vietnam War, the Hmong are an ethnic group who were violently driven from their homes in the mountains of Laos. In her memoir, Yang recounts her family’s journey from their homeland to multiple refugee camps in Thailand, and finally to a new and unfamiliar life in America. Filled with graceful prose, Hmong folklore, and childhood memories, ‘The Latehomecomer’ is just as beautifully captivating as it is fascinating and informative. -Emma Nymoen

‘These Is My Words’, by Sarah Prine.


It’s a memoir about her life growing up on the western frontier and all of the challenges that she faced. My favorite part is that Sarah’s voice comes through so clearly! I can empathize with her because I feel like I’m there on the range with her. -Shelby Ward

“The Lunar Chronicles”by Marissa Meyer.


It follows the story of a cyborg and her friends (all loosely based on fairytale characters) who get caught up in the middle of tensions between the people of Luna (the moon) and Earth. What I loved most about the series was how well-developed the characters were; as a reader, you become so invested in each of them and their growth, and you aren’t disappointed. -Anika Argyl

“Everything is Illuminated” (and everything else)  by Jonathan Safran Foer


The book really challenges what constitutes a novel as the chapters alternate.The whole thing is a weird mess that I can’t ever seem to put down. The writing is awesome and it captures the spirit of the Old Testament in a lot of ways. -Davis Blout

“Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce.


Alanna, a young girl trades places with her twin brother to become a knight. She overcomes social norms, palace protocols, and the law in this first book of a fantastic new world. -Marissa Brown

“Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.


I read it a long time ago and recently picked it back up. The reason I love “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is because David Sedaris has perfect command over his writing. His personal anecdotes, while at face value are not particularly interesting or surprising, are made to be clever and unique through creative word choice and sentence structure. It is also a great book to read out loud to family and friends. Every time I read this book, I end up calling my husband or my grandparents to share it because I am in tears from laughing so hard. -Lainey Wardlow

“No Matter the Wreckage” by Sarah Kay


The only poetry book you’ll find in Barnes and Noble published in the last 50 years, No Matter the Wreckage is a brilliant collection by a young poet, Sarah Kay, from New York. Sarah Kay writes beautifully about city life and family and love and loss, and everything you could want from a book of poetry. She’s influenced by her travels and her experience with Spoken Word in a way that brings fresh insight into the same stories we’ve all heard before. -Madelyn Taylor

“A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway


It’s a good story and the writing style is so weird and different that it might be a nice change. – Deborah Jenson

“The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe” by Edgar Allan Poe


There’s no better read during the fall season than Edgar Allan Poe. His Annabel Lee is haunting yet beautiful. The Raven is chaotic with a supernatural atmosphere. A great read during the month of October especially, although any time is a good time to read Poe. -Nicole Ratliff

Tell us what you think and share with us the books you think we should add to our NEXT reading list!

The English Major’s Guide to Days Off

bed with book

It’s the second week of school and already we have been blessed with an extra long weekend. Thank you, Labor Day! For those who don’t have plans, and for those that do, here are some new ideas to make your day off full of fun and excitement!

And if you haven’t checked out our other blog posts, click here to see our 3 Part How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors Series.

Catch Up or Get Ahead


As of last Friday, we have all seen the daunting lists of reading assignments, papers, and presentations that will be completed throughout the semester. Even if you’re the biggest literature lover, syllabi are more than overwhelming, especially when you realize that you’re already behind. Although not the first thing you would think to do on your day off, use this time to get caught up. And even get ahead you overachievers! Your sanity will thank you later.

Get Moving


Has anyone else seen those rad workouts you can do while binge watching your favorite TV show? How about applying that to your favorite book? Add exercise to your reading today! Try this:

     10 Crunches- Anytime the main character says their catch phrase

     15 Jumping Jacks- When your prediction comes true

     10 Squats- Anytime the protagonist resolves a conflict or does something noteworthy

     And finally two laps around your living room- As a way to celebrate finishing another          chapter

Keep count of the workouts and after finishing a chapter get your heart rate up!



Why just read about adventures? Days off give you the perfect opportunity to create your own experiences, and live in your own novel! So tackle that mountain you have always wanted to climb- literally and figuratively. Get a group of friends to come with you or embark on your journey alone. Today is another opportunity to live the life you have been reading about.



Sometimes during the semester it seems like your social life is falling to the wayside as you fill up your time with work, classes, studying, and the millions of responsibilities that seem to grow exponentially in the next few weeks. Take this time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen the entire summer, get to know your neighbors and new roommates, and you could even take this time to create that book club you’ve always wanted. Get together with friends, people from your classes, and anyone else who wants to join the fun and create lasting friendships through your love of literature!



If those other options weren’t what you were looking for, don’t worry! We have the thing for you! How about try relaxing? Curl up with your favorite book, blanket, or human and dive back into the summer read you are dying to finish. Or watch the movie interpretation of your favorite novel… Because we all know that you’ll never say no to a Harry Potter Movie Marathon. Take this time to relax from the stresses of the first week of college and rejuvenate so that you’re ready for the rest of the semester!

We hope that you enjoyed our Guide to Days Off for English Majors! Let us know what you do on your days off and enjoy the rest of your long weekend!


Tonight is the night! Check out the first poetry slam of the FALL 2016 Semester! Hang out with your friends, watch amazing performances, and learn how you too can get involved in the event. It’s the hottest topic on the streets!

Poetry Slam

So come have fun and kick off the school year right with the BYU Saturday Night Slam Series!

How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part 3): Relaxation


As part of the BYU English Society’s 3-Part “How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors” Series- we have covered tips for success and necessary items for your survival! The last thing that is needed to get you through this week is our top 5 ways to de-stress and get ready for the rest of the semester!

See below: How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part Three)! And you can find part one and two here!

Grab Your Favorite Book!


What better way to de-stress than picking up your favorite read? Whether it’s a novel, short story, or even magazine article, this will immediately remind you of why you chose to be an English Major. Go to your quiet place as previously mentioned in Part 1 and see the stress disappear right before your eyes!

Book Club, Anyone?


Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it! You have just started diving into your course reading lists, finished your summer books, and let me guess- you can’t wait to share you new insights and favorites with everyone around you? Why not try creating a book club? You’ll have fun getting to know new people while talking about the things you love the most!



Some people doodle. Some people workout. Why not try writing? Put your skills to the test! After all who hasn’t been dreaming since birth about publishing a novel? Write a poem, or flesh out some ideas for writing projects you want to start! Working on your own goals and dreams will help you get motivated and excited again about the future!

Join the English Society


BYU’s English Society is the perfect way to de-stress and make friends. Be apart of a community of people who love English as much as you do! With activities, daily blog and social media posts, and so many other opportunities for fun- you’ll be de-stressed before you know it. Plus the English Society is the BEST society on campus (completely unbiased- promise). Write your email in the comments below to get updates about upcoming activities and follow us on our social media accounts to stay involved!

Stop and Smell the Books?


Most people would say, “Stop, and smell the roses.” But we are more original than that! So stop and smell the books! Take a moment to remember why you love English and literature! Look at all of the awesome things around you:

You attend the best university out there #BYUrocks

You are an English Major

and… You just survived your first week at BYU!


We hope that you enjoyed our 3 Part Series on How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors and would love to hear your feedback! Tell us all about your first week at BYU and share any of your survival tips. You could be featured in our next post!


Click here to get to our other blog posts! And check out Part One and Part Two!


Have a Great Semester!

Everything You Need to Know: Poetry Slam Edition

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So you’ve successfully made it through most of your first week of the Fall 2016 semester without blowing anything up. Congrats! But before you buckle down for another challenging semester, why don’t you take the time to start the year off right with a Back to School Poetry Slam?


Last year, BYU poets rocked the wall with some killer performances, and the best part of the slams?They aren’t dominated by just English majors. In rare form, kids from all lengths of campus join the Saturday Night Slam Series once a month for some literary good times. Seniors, Freshman, Engineers and Linguists, all frequent the Wall to enjoy hearing their classmates share original raps, poems, soliloquy, rants, and the occasional bouts of unexpected wisdom in the boisterous atmosphere new ideas are often introduced into.

Poetry Slam 1


Slams are where conversations are happening! The history of spoken word poetry is rooted in civil rights and literary innovation, influenced by speech-writing and classic poetry alike. The ultimate goal of poetry slams is to provide an open space for everyone’s voice to matter and be heard, in a fun, competitive environment.


Poetry Slam 2

Everyone’s stories are different. Getting to know BYU means getting to know those stories. Even better, some of those stories are the same as yours. You’re not alone in your frustrations! Who knew?


“You, your roommates, your significant other, his or her little sister, that one guy with a mustache from your Tuesday 10 a.m. class and everyone else on the planet are invited to compete in this epic poetry slam for fame, glory, and phone numbers. All are invited to come prepared with a three-minute poem to present to a panel of distinguished and randomly selected judges and a crowd of adoring fans. This is the event that your children’s children will be asking you about for years to come.” -Saturday Night Slam Series Facebook page.
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The Back to School Slam is This Saturday, Sept. 3, 5:00-7:00

Join us for the fun!