Are you a Word Nerd? Ask Yourself These and Find Out!

Are You a Word Nerd?

Here’s a quick and easy test to determine if you have a passion for the reading and/or writing of the written—or spoken—word!

Be honest. We’re all friends (Quaker pun!) here.

Do any of these apply to you? If you admit “yes” in your mind, you know what that means—or at least you can probably guess.

  • Do you have a favorite word(s)?
  • And here’s the tricky part…
  • What do you like about the word(s)?
  • Is it how it/they sound read aloud? The way it/they look on a page? The meaning of the word(s)? Any combination of those things?

If you answered yes to the first question, you might be a Word Nerd.

Now, on to something a little more challenging.

  • Have you ever enjoyed listening to an audiobook?
  • Did you ever intentionally listen to an audiobook just because you liked it?
  • Are you a fan of spoken word poetry?
  • Have you heard of Button Poetry?
  • Have you ever enjoyed it when friends, family, or even strangers with nice reading voices read aloud to you or in your presence?

I’ll let you guess what those answers might indicate.

  • In the last thirty days, have you picked up and read a book because you wanted to?
  • In the last thirty days, have you been reading something because you had to, and just really—maybe even secretly—enjoyed it?

Reading is, according to our extensive research, an indicator of word nerdiness.

  • Have you ever been unreasonably angry by word misusage or grammar violations in spoken or written word(s)?
  • Have you wished bodily harm on someone based on their improper word usage/grammar? Has this happened to you in the last six months?
  • The last thirty days?
  • The last thirty hours?
  • Thirty minutes even?

If so, I definitely sympathize. In addition, these are strong indicators of a high level of word nerd tendencies.

  • Do you work alliteration into your everyday conversation?
  • Do you insert puns into your conversations—earning you the hatred and admiration of all around you?
  • Do you notice—and even appreciate—rhyming?

As you may have figured out by now, positive answers to these questions largely indicate at least some level of word nerd-ness within you. Currently, there is no known cure for this affliction. However, if you find that you are, in fact, a word nerd, it’s unlikely that you want to be cured. I recommend embracing your passion whether that’s through reading, writing, speaking, or listening.

Adaptations: Books, Movies and the Magic of it All

By: Amanda Libby

A movie adaptation; those words can either send joy into the hearts of readers, or sink them into a dark ocean of dread and despair.  A good adaptation makes moviegoers flock like birds to bread to their nearest book store paying hard-earned money to have the privilege of reading the book that their new favorite movie was based on.  A bad adaptation on the other hand, sends people running in the opposite direction, fleeing from anything remotely having to do with the movie, even though they might have enjoyed the original book if given the chance.  It is a sad, but true cycle of actions.

Whenever the topic of movie adaptations comes up (and it usually does when it comes to my friends) someone, usually the most intelligent of the group, almost always says that the book is better and the movie was terrible for various reasons that they proceed to list with clarity and sureness.  Being an avid reader who devours books instead of food at times, I usually agree, as movies have become notorious in making shoddy adaptations of some of my favorite books or series.

Two major trends in movie making and writing come to mind almost instantly as to why this is: the movie only skims the surface of what the book is really trying to say, and characters that were unique in the book were made devoid of the subtlety that was present in the literature.  I had the displeasure of seeing two movies that have these problems in abundance: The Giver and The Book Thief, which I now detest with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

6The Giver doesn’t even come close to what the original book was saying about the world and society.  It only scratched the surface of the deep themes of the dangers of love and the terrible loneliness that knowledge sometimes brings, especially to children.  The relationship between Jonas and Fiona was completely changed for the trend of teen romance, when in actuality the relationship was melancholy and full of longing that was never reciprocated.  

7The Book Thief was even worse, as it cut out all of the unique characteristics of the narrator until they had a monotone stock character that didn’t deserve to be titled Death.  The sparkling details and ominous backstory that made the human characters deep and memorable were gone.  I was disappointed beyond words when I viewed the credits for these two movies and had to dash to my library and furiously reread the books, to keep the trash from seeping into my memory.

Despite all this, I don’t blame the filmmakers or the writers.  They are taking a medium that can be as long and detailed and complex as it wants, and translating it into a medium that has to be a maximum length in order to attract a mainstream audience and follow certain conventions that cannot be broken.  They were bound by the written word and couldn’t stray too far from it or book lovers would chase them down in the streets and pelt them with their copies of the book.

Looking forward, I will probably still go see movie adaptations of books I enjoy, sometimes they surprise me with a good retelling that stays true to the core of the book without removing what made the book so magical.  The older Harry Potter movies are excellent examples with The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets both staying true to the source material and also luring new young readers into a world of mystery, magic and knowledge.

In closing, I will continue to read and encourage others to do the same.  Don’t let the movies speak solely for the books they represent, as the repeated phrase which goes: “the book was better” is usually correct.

The Journey of a GR Submission

by Katie Holland (Co-Managing Editor 2015)

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what happens behind-the-scenes when you submit to the Greenleaf Review? Maybe you’ve even thought about joining the team of staff members in Guilford’s annual Spring semester practicum course and want to know what staff members do to make a magazine in a single semester. This article is geared towards answering questions and clearing up some of the mystery about the submission process.

1) A Submission is Born!

You’ve worked on your submission carefully until you had a product you were happy with. A deadline has been announced by the Greenleaf Review staff; you probably saw it on a flier around campus. You’ve decided that today’s the day you give your work (and yourself) the chance to be published. This is when you make your selections and submit your chosen work to us!


The first step a submission takes in its life happens when you hit “Send” on an email to with your file attached. It’s helpful if you go ahead and give it a name and mention what medium (photography, fiction, poetry, painting, etc) it is, but we will ask for that information later if you forget.

2) Submission Incognito

Once your submission reaches our hands, the Managing Editor(s) will assign you a number and remove your name from the file, leaving you completely anonymous for the entirety of the submission review process. This means that when people are reading or viewing your work, they’ll see something like “Author 12” or “Artist 39” instead of your name. General staff members don’t know who the numbers belong to, only the Editors.


The Poetry and Prose pieces are printed and the Art submissions are sorted digitally. At this point, they are ready to be seen by staff members.

3) Reviewing Cycle

The submissions are split into three groups: Poetry, Prose, and Art. Staff members attend meetings within these sections according to their interests and schedules and review submissions as a group. Each section has its own Editor who is in charge of keeping up with the paper copies for Prose and Poetry and maintaining the digital folder for Art submissions.


We discuss pieces that interest us, find appropriate changes that would make them better or more appropriate for our magazine or page allowance, and sort the submissions based on “readiness”. This is not a measure of quality exclusively, it is a measure of how ready we are to publish a particular piece of writing or artwork in our magazine.

The reviewing continues until enough members of the practicum course have seen each piece and all have been given a fair chance at being viewed.

4) Selections

After carefully reviewing all of the submissions in each category, the group determines which ones have made the final cut.  The section editors then determine which ones are the highest rated overall in readiness.


Every year varies thematically and we may fall in love a piece that just doesn’t work with the rest of our favorites, that’s why we encourage you to resubmit, and sometimes even ask to publish it electronically here on our blog. We want the world to see your work, but we also want all published pieces to be seen in the right context.

5) Notification and Edits

Check your Guliford email to see if your submission has been accepted into this year’s magazine. You should check your email regularly, especially since we usually request a few edits to be made to Poetry and Prose pieces. Sometimes these edits are suggested because of the length of the piece, word usage, mistakes, or because we think it would improve the piece in some way. They are recommendations and we need your approval or input in order to continue.

Once edits are approved, we move on to Layout and place your submission into the magazine before sending the files off to our printer. We’ll let you know when the magazines get here and you can see your work in print. Yay!

If the email is not one of congratulations, we hope it won’t keep you from working on the piece and resubmitting it the following year.

And There You Have It

Staff goes on to format the magazine’s interior files before sending it to the printer. By this point you already know if you’re in. There should be a release day party and we let you know about that so we can all celebrate another great year of The Greenleaf Review and hand out free magazines to everyone who wants them.

If you want to be on the staff of the next magazine, sign on for the Spring semester practicum course for college credit, and keep on submitting.

Survivors Guide to Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) As a Student

By: Faith Krech


The AWP Conference and Bookfair is the largest literary conference in North America. Each year this four day explosion of authors, publishers, and independent presses is contained within a different city. This year the Conference was held in Minneapolis, and I was fortunate enough to attend with Robin Miura of Carolina Wren Press as an intern. The 2015 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The book fair, the second facet of the Conference, hosted over 700 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world.

To say that stepping onto the book fair floor on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. sharp was an overwhelming experience is the understatement of the century. The constant roar of chatter and laughter echoed throughout the massive dome shaped building. Peering around, my eyes were thrust with adjusting to the myriad of tables representing different presses and literary journals from all around the country. These tables exhibiting different presses and literary journals stretched from the front entrance of the Center and covered the entire width and length of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

For three days, I advocated for Carolina Wren Press at the designated table, meeting authors of the presses publications, networking with fellow independent presses, and utilizing my salesmanship skills to sell publications and raise awareness about the press to anyone who passed by.

Arriving in Minneapolis for the conference as a college student, I had no idea what to expect, and I certainly did not know any strategies or tips to make my conference the most successful. To help the next AWPers on their first adventure, I have crafted a list that highlights and suggests the top ten essential items to bring to AWP 2016 which will be held in Los Angeles, California!

AWP 2016:  10 Things To Bring

  1. Pen/Pencil

These writing implements are crucial to have on hand at the conference whether you are attending a panel and want to write down notes or networking at the book fair and need to solidify the transaction by scribbling down contact and other pertinent information.

  1. Comfortable walking shoes

These are essential items to obtain because walking through the book fair and to and from panel discussions in two-inch heels will bring pain and misery to anyone who dares. Bring those comfortable sandals or sneakers. Your feet and ankles will thank you after spending a whole day trekking through the AWP jungle.

  1. Business casual attire

Although the styles of dress run the spectrum at AWP, if you are a college student looking to professionally network, the best advice I could give is to dress how you would like to represent yourself in a professional setting. Have a goal in mind to visualize your ideal appearance on the conference day.

  1. Backpack or large tote bag

One of the many perks of attending AWP is that many presses and journals are giving away free publications, pens, and candy to drum up awareness for their press or journal. Bringing a backpack or tote is an essential item to help carry around all those freebies!

  1. Reusable water bottle

Before going to AWP, it might be a good idea to practice some throat clearing exercises because there will be an immense amount of conversations to be had. Whether it is networking for an internship or fawning over your favorite literary magazine, a water bottle is key to hydration for all that yammering that is bound to happen!

  1. Notebook

Like the pencil or pen, a notebook or journal is essential to bring to AWP to record amazing insights shared in panels, advice from literary editors, and to remember presses to look up later in the tranquility of your hotel room after all the literary chaos has died down.

  1. Business cards and/or sticky notes with personal information inscribed

Bringing along business cards or other contact information to AWP is not only important to have accessible for job or internship networking purposes but is also important have handy. AWP is an amazing opportunity to meet potential employers but to also meet friends and literary colleagues who share your same interests. Don’t let these connections dissipate after the conference, follow up on them. You never know what might occur from them!

  1. Money

Even at AWP, money makes the conference go round. Most presses and literary magazines at the book fair will be selling their wares for the full four days of the conference. Most presses accept all major credit cards and cash. On the second to last day of the conference, most presses and publishers slash their prices by at least 30% in hopes that they can sell off most of their publications before having to lug them all back on the plane.

  1. Map of surrounding city where AWP is located

One of the joys of AWP is the location changes every year. This provides amazing traveling opportunities and chances to see new parts of the country. That being said, it is essential to obtain a map of the surrounding city so you can be aware of the best places to eat and stay during your AWP experience. In addition, there are always off-site readings that happen after the official conference day is finished. This is when the real AWP magic happens. Poets and writers come together in harmony at different city locations to share work and be in community together. You don’t want to miss these spectacular moments! Get a map!

  1. Your confidence

As a college student entering into the vast wilderness of AWP, it may be intimidating and overwhelming at first. It will take guts to walk into the book fair and see over 7,000 presses. It will take heart to bravely ask a question in a panel discussion. However frightening or immense AWP may seem to you now, I personally guarantee that with a little confidence you can have an amazing and successful experience as long as you put yourself out there to embrace all that the conference has to offer.

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It’s Here! We’re Welcoming the New Volume of The Greenleaf Review!


The wait is over: 2015’s Greenleaf Review is already circling the campus. It features prose, poetry, and art alike! We’re very proud to be able to say this issue may be the best yet! It’s stuffed full of the work of some very talented Guilford students, and we’re excited to share their work with you.

This years Greenleaf Review features: Adrianna M. Allred, Teresa I. Bedzigui, AC Canup, Brittany Cominos, Niall Donegan, Julia Geaney-Moore, Nicole Gaines, Laura Hay, Elizabeth Houde, Jonahs Jones, Anna Kelley, Abe Kenmore, Faith Krech, Karlen Lambert, Kristy Lapenta, Justyn Melrose, Samantha Metzner, Kate Mitchell, Ilari Pass, Gabe Pollak, Emma Rountree, Subhadra Semetaite, James Trout, Eli Tuchler, Grace Van Fleet, and Eliana Weiner.

New York Times Bestselling Author Comes to Guilford College:

By: Beatriz M. L. Caldas

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photos by: Anna Oates

What if the death of print became a reality? If books, newspapers, magazines and any other form of concrete knowledge were things of the past, what would you do? How would we live if language itself became obsolete or if iPads and iPhones could actually answer our questions even before we ask them? This is exactly how the world functions in Alena Graedon’s first novel The Word Exchange.

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Graedon is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s MFA program. She has worked at Columbia, Knopf, and the PEN American Centre.

Translated into eight languages, The Word Exchange is considered “a nervy, nerdy dystopic thriller” by The New York Times Book Review, and “a sobering look at how dependent we are on technology and how susceptible we are to the distortions of language” by The Washington Post.

The book talks about a future not too far from our present when the world has succumbed to handheld devices that basically do all the “hard work,” like feeding us at the first small sign of hunger or to hail us cabs while we are still leaving the building we work in. Anana Johnson, the main character, works with her father, Doug, to create a new North American Dictionary of the English Language. People have been forgetting the good old times when it was possible to buy print editions of books and magazines instead of relying on electronic devices for everything. For this reason, Doug feels the need to finish what may be the very last edition of the dictionary.

One day, Doug disappears, leaving only one clue behind: ALICE, a code he and Anana created to warn each other about danger. Together with her friend Bart, Anana starts an adventure through basements and subterranean passageways to try to find Doug and understand what happened to him. She and Bart need to run against time and the effects of the “word flu,” which causes language decay.

On March 5, we had the pleasure of meeting Alena Graedon in person at Guilford College’s Art Gallery in Hege Library. The audience was eager to hear Graedon’s reading of the book and her comments on the writing process. She herself was also glad to be at our school.

“I’m really honored and humbled to be with you all,” said Graedon before starting to read a few excerpts from her novel.

The chapters are each named with a letter from the alphabet in alphabetical order. Graedon read a small section from the first chapter, “A,” in Anana’s perspective and then moved to chapter two, “B,” to tell the story from Bart’s perspective. As Bart was infected with the “word flu,” Graedon dragged the audience to a different moment in the story when we could see the development of the disease and the effects it had on him. At last, she went back to Anana’s point of view to finish the reading with a powerful quote from Hegel.

The reading then gave space to a Q&A. Graedon showed a lot of excitement when hearing the interest of Guilford students about her book and the writing process itself. Most of the students were also curious about publishing a first novel and dealing with writer’s block.

One of the questions was about deciding which point of view she would write in.

“The main reason why I wanted to write in first person is because I really wanted to show what language does, what it is and how it connects people,” she said.

When asked about the chapters, Graedon was honest.

“Writing it in 26 chapters sort of messed me up,” she said. “Because, when I was trying to go back, revise and move things around, it was a lot harder, so I had to break things in strange places. Sometimes it’s really helpful to have a container into which to pour your narrative.”

At the end, she confessed to the audience that at times she would fear failure.

“I had no idea if anybody else besides my mom would ever read it,” she said. “(But) that was also liberating because I could do insane things like having a lot of stuff about Hegel. Even if nobody else reads it, I thought, at least I’m writing the book as I imagine it should be.

“The best thing about (writing a book) is that you go into a process of discovery, but that’s also really hard. You ask yourself ‘what will happen when I’m done?’ So writing is the best thing that I do and the hardest thing as well.”

After answering every question, Graedon stayed longer to talk to everyone who was eager to know more about her work and to give autographs for those who had bought The Word Exchange from Guilford’s bookstore.

If you didn’t have the chance to meet this amazing New York Times bestselling author and would love to give her novel a try, just go by the bookstore in the basement of Founders Hall.

The Greenleaf Review hopes you enjoy your ride through a wordless world.


Hyperrealism: Insights on a Progressing Art

By H. Layla Rafaoui


Background: Defining the Terminology and the Shift of Photorealism to Hyperrealism

Photorealism began in the late 1960s in the United States; it was born when a cluster of artists began using photography as a source to paint commonplace scenes and objects with astonishing realism.  The term Photorealism was coined by Louis K. Meisel in 1969, and it appeared in print for the first time in 1970 in a Whitney Museum catalogue for the exhibition “Twenty-two Realists.”  Two years later Louis K. Meisel provided a five-part definition for what precisely classifies as Photorealism at the request of Stuart M. Speiser, who had gathered a large collectionof Photo-realistic paintings, which ultimately grew into a traveling show titled “Photo-Realism 1973: The Stuart M. Speiser Collection” (Schiller).  The clauses of Meisel’s definition were documented as follows:

1. The Photo-Realist uses the camera and photograph to gather information.

2. The Photo-Realist uses a mechanical or semi-mechanical means to transfer the information to the canvas.

3. The Photo-Realist must have the technical ability to make the finished work appear photographic.

4. The artist must have exhibited work as a Photo-Realist by 1972 to be considered one of the central Photo-Realists.

5. The artist must have devoted at least five years to the development and exhibition of Photo-Realist work.

Inspiring and Opposing Art Forms:

The Photorealist movement evolved from Pop Art and was meant to counter both Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism.  With inspiration from Pop Art, the art style inherited “a passion for the icons of consumer society, the metallic surfaces of the glass and mirrors of shop windows, and the deformed images they reflected, dazzling cars and motorbikes, neon signs, the bright colors of fast-food restaurants, Art Deco architecture and all kinds of kitsch iconography” (Hyperrealism).  However, while the Pop Artists were largely attempting to point out the absurdity of much of the content (i.e. the imagery and symbols), the Photo-Realists were primarily trying to recover and promote the socially held value of an image.  Photorealistic artists strive to alter elements of everyday life, trite scenes, and consumer goods into artistic motifs.

By the time the Photo-Realists started crafting their work, the snapshot had become the dominant means for replicating reality and abstraction was at the center of the art world.  Through the first half of the 1900s, realism had persisted as a surviving art movement, and even resurfaced in the 1930s, but, by the 1950s, modernist critics and the popularity of Abstract Expressionism had all but eradicated realism as a serious art form.  Although Photo-Realists had some shared characteristics with American realists, they did their best to separate themselves from traditional realists just as they did with Abstract Expressionists.

Like Pop Art and Minimalism, Photorealism sought to have a detached and impersonal vibe from the artists’ work because of the systematic techniques they used.  Yet, many thought, Photorealism’s effort to revitalize illusionism—with their detail-oriented tactics—was meant as a challenge to the work of Minimalists.  Correspondingly, many believed, the Photo-realistic movement was meant as a stab against the celebrated gains of Abstractionism.

Photorealism’s Original Artists

The initial generation of American Photo-Realists contained such painters as John Baeder, John Kacere, Howard Kanovitz, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Charles Bell, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Robert Bechtle, and Tom Blackwell.  They often worked independently of one another and with extensively diverse starting points.

Historic Photo-Realist Artists:

Hyperrealism Americahyperrealism red car

John Baeder was primarily known for his detailed paintings of American roadside diners and restaurants

  Howard Kanovitz

Hyperrealism red dancing

The Dance, 1965, 81 x 70, acrylic and canvas

Hyperrealism art gallery

Man Regarding Nude Greek, 1965-8, acrylic and canvas










 Audrey Flack

Hyperrealism Shrine

Marilyn (Vanitas), 1977, 96 x 96 in.

Hyperrealism stuff

Chanel, 1974, 84 x 60 in.










Public Recognition:

The movement reached international recognition when it participated in the Kassel Documenta of 1972.  Then, in 1973, a Belgian art dealer, Isy Brachot, coined the French term Hyperréalisme as the title of an exhibition that took place at his gallery in Brussels.  The exhibition was predominantly American Photorealists such as Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Don Eddy, Robert Bechtle, and Richard McLean; however, it also encompassed some influential European artists such as Gnoli, Richter, Klapheck, and Delcol.  Photorealism, then, developed into what widely became acknowledged as the Hyperrealist movement.  Photorealism and hyperrealism are also occasionally referred to as Super Realism, New Realism, and/ or Sharp-Focus Realism.

Contemporary Hyperrealism

More than forty years after hyperrealism originated, it has managed to maintain its place as a visible and flourishing art form.  Many of the movement’s pioneers are still active and working alongside new artists who also paint using a photorealist technique.  Artistic resources and themes have progressed and changed over time, but Hyperrealistic paintings, with their eye-capturing level of definition, accuracy, and detail, continue to captivate their audience.

Art in the Age of Technology:

Both Pop Art and Photorealism were reactions to the constantly-growing abundance of photographic media.  The invention of photography, in the nineteenth century, shifted the Westerners’ cultural values on two-dimensional, historic art forms and the public’s general understanding of prior media.  When Photorealism began to gain momentum in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and permitted artists to use photographs to aid their work, it was countered with severe criticism, despite the fact that visual aids had been used by artists since the fifteenth century.  Within the art movements of the 1800s and 1900s, it is documented that artists used photographs to aid in their work, but heavily denied using them because they feared that their work would be perceived by critics and the general public as imitations.  Artists who painted portraits and scenes were thought to produce inferior work in comparison to the camera and many of them ultimately changed to careers in photography.  By mid-20th century in the west, photography had become such an enormous phenomenon that it threatened to diminish the value of imagery in prior art forms.

However, the invention of the photograph also led to a period of artistic experimentation.  Hyper-realistic artists begin their artistic process with a camera in an attempt to capture seemingly inconsequential subjects that are found in the world around us, and then—with painstaking detail—they create an illusion of photography on canvas.  Ironically, the method is completely contradictory to the immediacy of the snapshot itself.  When creating a hyper-realistic painting, the artist systematically transfers their photograph onto the canvas, which is typically done either through projection or a traditional grid system.  The final painting often looks identical to the photograph, and is merely larger.  These techniques result in a precise and extremely realistic painting.

Reaching a Wider Audience:

Hyperrealism touches a wider audience than that of abstract art.  Abstract art was once about reaching the people as it rebelled from prior more “trained” and “refined” styles, while integrating political dilemmas and analyzing one’s own culture; however, with time, it has managed to simply join the many other art forms through-out history that were and are limited to the elites and those in the academic sphere.  Unlike Abstractionism, Hyperrealism doesn’t need to be “explained” to the viewer, considering the content can be found in the physical world that the viewer lives in.


Art movements are vital in defining periods of human history; they give the framework to the cultural realities of the time and allow us to outline social shifts.  The long-lasting relevance of Hyperrealism allows us to presume—as it contains some of our societal values—that in our technologically-centered existence we value precision and, also, that more individuals within our society are impressed by and interested in that precision than by opposing nonconcrete, intellectual art pieces.

Contemporary Hyperrealist Artists:

Lee Price

Hyperrealism Bath

Grilled Cheese II. Oil on Linen, 38″ x 72″

Hyperrealism food

Refuge. Oil on Linen, 44” x 64”









Hyperrealism Shower 1Hyperrealism Shower 2








Diego Fazio – Charcoal pencil


Hyperrealism flower 1Hyperrealism Flower 2






Ben Weiner – Paintings of Paint