Meet Me In St. Louis

Riverboat Cruise


Meet Me In St. Louis

Judy Garland sings "Meet Me in St. Louis"


St. Louis Arch

The Gateway Arch


“We might not have pointy ears, magic wands, or futuristic electronic devices, but it is this love of language, the zest for exploration, and the drive to create that binds us together in a unique fellowship of words. And to me, that is better than any other convention in the world.”

Laura Heffner
Kappa Pi Chapter, Alvernia University
2009 Convention
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Convention Theme: Storytellers

By: Carrie Fitzpatrick, 2010 Convention Chair

The Mexican people refer to them as cuentista. In some parts of Japan, they are called kamishibai. Scéalaí is the name given to them in Ireland. West Africans call them griots. What am I referring to? Storytellers…the theme for the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention to be held in St, Louis, Missouri, from March 17-20, 2010.

The state of Missouri, the Show Me State, has given us many fantastic authors: Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, Marianne Moore, Eugene Field, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou to name just a few. Just as these writers have contributed to the storytelling tradition, I encourage the members of our English Honor Society to contribute to the narrative thread of our existence, our experiences, our attempts to articulate into words the world around us. As Convention Chair, I invite all of you, and I challenge all of you, to spin a yarn and tell a tale for the 2010 Convention. The convention has a wonderful lineup of speakers including Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I Have Been Silent About; Chris Abani, author of Song for Night and GraceLand; Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of The Meaning of Consuelo and The Latin Deli: and Li-Young Lee, poet and author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent being Behind My Eyes. They are fantastic storytellers with narratives that are skillful and compelling.

All of us are storytellers. We are connected through the power of story. The science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin once said, “The story—from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace—is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” In other words, storytelling continues to be one of the oldest and most enduring ways to distribute knowledge. In fact, it’s been said that stories are similar to fairy gold. The more you give, the more you have, and the richer you are.

The economic and political upheaval we are currently experiencing will make the next few years difficult ones, and as the poet William Collins stated, “In unsettled times like these, when world cultures, countries and religions are facing off in violent confrontations, we could benefit from the reminder that storytelling is common to all civilizations. Whether in the form of a sprawling epic or a pointed ballad, the story is our most ancient method of making sense out of experience and of preserving the past.” Stories are unifying and thought provoking, and they remind us that we are far more similar than different.

St. Louis is the perfect location for our storytelling to take place. The city has been the home or the inspiration for many writers and works of literature, and its dynamic intellectual and literary tradition continues today. Furthermore, the 2010 Convention will be held at the newly renovated Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront, situated in the central part of downtown St. Louis and adjacent to the Gateway Arch that stands at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The view is spectacular. The hotel is within walking distance of the Gateway Arch Riverboats (for sightseeing cruises) and the MetroLink, the region’s light rail system, so you can visit some of the city’s points of interest including the Eugene Field House and—Toy Museum, St. Louis Walk of Fame, City Museum, Science Center, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Old Courthouse, St. Louis Mercantile Library, and many other attractions.