Print This Post

Students organize readings for course

Posted on 12.11.2013

Good Hall was the location of a poetry reading hosted by creative writing students on Nov. 18, featuring two readings, one from a student and the other from a local poet. This reading was the third of four readings that were hosted on and off campus by University of Indianapolis students in the Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop as a part of their course.

Senior experience design and business major and creative writing minor Heather Zalewski and senior English literature and professional writing major with a creative writing  minor Kristen Yates put together the Good Hall reading. The other readings were held at IndyReads Books, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and the Wheeler Arts Community Center, each with a published writer from the area and a student writer who was not taking the course.
“Our professor gave us a couple different locations as well as several authors we could ask to be like the headliners at the event,”  Zalewski said. “I was working with Kristen [Yates], basically on organizing the event, marketing the event, and getting [the local poet]  Chris Newgent, who was the headliner, as well as talking to Laura McGaughey, who was the student reader.”
McGaughey, a senior English major, read a piece entitled “For Grandma,” which tells a story within a story of her grandmother telling McGaughey, as a child, a bedtime story about a kitten looking for a drink of water.
Zalewski knew that she had wanted to have Newgent do the reading from the first time she heard him read.
“As soon as I saw Chris’ name, I thought, ‘We have to have Chris,’” Zalewski said. “So I asked our professor to talk to him and see if he would be willing to do it, and he [Newgent] said he would.”
Zalewski also said that Newgent brought with him a dark humor that attracted her, which the audience at the Evening with Authors reading heard through Newgent’s often-spicy word choices.
“His style of writing is just awesome to me. He always has humor in it, whether it’s the dark, funny humor or the lighthearted humor,” Zalewski said. “…You can still see his humor in the piece he had written for The Bourbon Review, and that was about dealing with his mom’s death. He still has those underlying tones in there. Just those certain word choices he has, you have certain writers that figure out the writing you like, that you want to be like, that you gravitate towards them.”
Assistant Professor of English Sal Pane, who taught the course,  said that his role was simply to oversee the students, but otherwise, they made all the decisions when setting the Good Hall reading, as well as the others.
The students were required to go to and write about five readings during the semester, some of which were those their classmates hosted.
“They went into town, scoured other readings and for homework they decided who they wanted, what kind of readings they wanted, and they chose local Indianapolis writers,” Pane said. “Then they picked a venue and began the social media campaign and began the flyers and all that. From my end, I just oversaw, but they’ve put in a lot of hours from the start of the semester on.”


RSS Feed  Follow Us on Twitter  Facebook Profile