By Erin Keating
On Friday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. in Miller Hall, the Creative Writing Student Reading originally scheduled for family weekend finally took place. The reading featured the work of both the students and staff of the English department and was designed to give underclassmen a chance to share their work.
The first people to read were Amanda Wright, Sara Sinoski, and Dr. Melanie Almeder, who shared their work with the “Art by Bus” project. Dr. Almeder and her students served as resident writers on Roanoke City buses during March of last year. The project gave them the opportunity to write about their experiences on various transit routes while also engaging in creative projects with bus riders, including providing them with materials to write their own poems during the ride.
Wright brought her science experience into her poems – a unique trait in the Creative Writing department – to create a poetic, technical language. Sara Sinoski’s piece was imaginative, describing her bus rides like riding a dragon and creating a fantastical world for the audience. Dr. Almeder’s work, which will be published shortly in a chapbook called In Transit, focused on the overall bus riding experience, including a found poem of a conversation between a rider and the bus driver, and the poem “Forsythia” that captured the signs of spring she noticed from the bus.
Daria Chicosky, sophomore, and Senior Rebekah Seger delivered powerful performances of original work. Presenting a wide array of subject matters, some notable poems dealt with toxic relationships and women’s issues. Ms. Mary Crocket Hill, a visiting instructor this year, presented her disturbing and unsettling found poem about the Seattle shooter. Using quotes from the chat room where the shooter posted his warning, she created a dismal and chilling vision of human nature.
Dr. Bob Schultz, who emceed the event, closed it off reading the poem, “Piano,” by Patrick Phillips to end on a much more hopeful note, and anticipate his reading in Fintel Library on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m.