Karen Gettert Shoemaker made an appearance to share her writing at the University of Indianapolis in the Schwitzer Student Center on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Shoemaker lives in Nebraska, but she travels to share her work. She is a writer, teacher and business owner. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in the London Independent, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, West Wind Review, Arachne, Fugue, Kalliope and Foliage. Currently, she is a writing mentor with the MFA in Writing Program at the University of Nebraska. She obtained a doctorate in creative writing from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Shoemaker chose to focus on her book “The Meaning of Names,” at the reading. “The Meaning of Names” is a historical fiction book. She read briefly from the first and tenth chapters. When she finished, she took a break and answered questions from the audience.
After the reading senior creative writing and German major Joel Van Bergeijk said that Shoemaker guided a very interesting reading and addressed issues not often addressed in fiction writing.
“I thought it was really interesting because I speak German, and, I don’t know, I always thought it was kind of interesting how American history has kind of a big connection to German history,” Van Bergeijk said. “I’m pretty sure that one of the single largest heritage groups is German Americans. It’s not really addressed that often. So it was interesting to see a historical perspective on it.”
Junior professional writing and creative writing major Alyssa Kauffman bought Shoemaker’s book. Kauffman said she went to the reading with minimal information. She was able to stay after and talk to Shoemaker as well.
“You don’t often get historical fiction at readings, and I like historical fiction. This was a great reading because her story is so lyrical,” Kauffman said.
Van Bergeijk and Kauffman both noted Shoemaker’s advice to “write with your whole body.” They said they had never thought of it before but planned to implement it into their own writing.
The next Kellogg Writers Series reading is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Schwitzer 010. Jeffrey Condran will be the featured author.
Lecture/performance credit is available to those who attend.