Friday, May 1, 2009

It really was the best reading of the year...

Though Professor Gouge failed to show after signing up to wear the scone costume, the MFA reading proceeded as planned and was, of course, a rousing success. 

Listeners were treated to readings by poet Matt Buchanan, who dazzled us with his Indiana wit and his willingness to enter the imagination of a “scuzzoid kid”; nonfiction writer Sarah Beth Childers, who reminded us of the value of maps and the importance of keeping out of the line of fire; fiction writer Lori D’Angelo, who bravely read a brand new piece about a one-time jock and his kind of dead, kind of ex-girlfriend, and to whose dog, Maggie, we send our regards; nonfiction writer Rachel Rosolina, whose essay no doubt brought a tear to her dad’s eye and taught us a thing or two about church organs and what’s inside them; fiction writer John Shumate, who explored the challenges of interior decorating and the problems of art school, which he left---we’re so glad---to be with us; and poet Erin Veith, whose poems, like origami, were folded just so.

The “emerging writers” graciously thanked their committee members---Mark Brazaitis, Jim Harms, Ellesa High, John Lamb, Emily Mitchell, Kevin Oderman, Mary Ann Samyn, and Ethel Morgan Smith---all of whom were in attendance in person or in spirit (or both!).

In addition to the creative writing faculty, the audience included many parents and other picture-takers, along with Professors Brady, Allen, and Ballentine, all of whom looked on with appropriate awe.  And the hooding---the most anxiety-provoking part of the evening (at least for this blogger)---was accomplished with something like elegance.

Congratulations Matt, Sarah Beth, Lori, Rachel, John, and Erin!  We’re proud of all you’ve accomplished so far and we’re pleased to have worked with you.  Here’s wishing you lots of happiness and good writing ahead.  We’ll be reading your work---


  1. I agree. It WAS the best reading this year, and I found all the work incredibly moving. I've worked with almost all of them over my last two years here, and thank them for their guidance on my writing - especially Lori, who was my lifeline during my first year here. I hope Mark was pleased with his souvenir photographs!

  2. I totally misunderstood my charge. Remember that guy who showed up looking a little like Professor Ballentine looking on in awe with Professors Brady and Allen? That was me dressed as Professor Ballentine failing to show up in a scone costume.

    I thought you got that. ;-)

  3. "The scone costume" needs its own blog post/ at least a bit more of an explanation I think!