Statue of Horace, Piazza Horazio, Venosa, Italy. Credit: Susan Bonvallet, 1997

“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:
Beyond Words

Dr. Sarah Dangelantonio, 2011 Convention Chair 

In his Ars Poetica, Roman poet Horace uses the phrase dulce et utile. I began to consider what the phrase might mean for today’s literature, for today’s writers, and I kept coming back to the notion that many of today’s writers, with the power of their writing, are going beyond the words on the page. All words have power, and as students of literature we certainly make use of metaphors, allusions, denotation and connotation and other devices that demonstrate the ability of words to carry so much meaning. But it strikes me that the written word can contain and do so much more, going beyond being the ink marks on the page. 

Writers also go beyond words in other ways, using their writing to give voice to causes or to those who do not have a voice. They go beyond words and recreate nonprofit ventures that nurture the arts, nurture young writers, serve the community. In 2011 in Pittsburgh, our convention theme encourages us all to consider the power of the written word, its ability to contain so much and to do so much and how writers, every day, go beyond words, providing  pleasure, but also instructing and serving, giving voice to people and causes and ideas.

For more about the "Beyond Words" theme, read The Sigma Tau Delta Newsletter - Fall 2010 cover article by Sarah Dangelantonio.