BY ANNE WOLFE, STAFF WRITER
The Creative Writing Department’s fifth senior reading took place on Thursday night, and featured the works of seven senior creative writing majors.
These writers, Kara Brammer, Dan Duddy, Abby Hess, Brynnah McFarland, James Taube, Erica Reed, and Cynthia Ring, comprised the largest reading of this school year.
Ring started off the evening by thanking her professors before her poetry reading.
She said that her professors, especially Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Glen Retief, taught her, “a page is the one place we don’t have to hide; a page is the place where we can be ourselves.”
The personal depths of the stories she read ranged from the homeopathic remedies for lost love to the death of a father to the regrets of homophobic slurs to a brother.
The themes were not all of loss, however.
One of the pieces Duddy read was about the comedy that ensued after a panicked airline passenger exclaimed his fear for dying during turbulence. The characters included an ex-marine, a suspected terrorist, an actual terrorist, a mother of two, a college student in a fake mustache and a woman who was recently released from a mental institution.
Brammer read her poetry while a group of her friends caused her to beam, half tearfully, as she thanked them for their support with a poem about them.
Hess’ fiction piece about a father’s struggle to get his son out of the woods while his life was on the line brought such emotional imagery as a father falling asleep while holding his infant son’s hand, the worry of a mother while her son is on his first hunting trip, and the feelings of a young boy who is hanging on to life.
McFarland’s excerpt was a piece partially rooted in reality but was partly fiction, she said.
The topics of her prose ranged from her love of making felt foxes to her being labeled as “the girl with the dog.”
Taube’s nonfiction piece about visiting his grandmother in a Baltimore nursing home and watching her struggle with her Alzheimer’s recalled a lunch date where he had to tell her three times that
he was in college.
As he said, “What the memory chooses to hold on to is tricky business.”
Reed, the final reader, opened her reading with a joke about muffins that her grandmother had emailed her as advice on how to break the ice.
The excerpt from her working novel was about a mother trying to get her six-year-old daughter to go to church with a husband, who doesn’t attend, allowing their daughter to stay home in a problematic argument with his wife.
Colin O’Donnell, a sophomore creative writing major, said that he has been to all but about two of the readings since his freshman year.
O’Donnell said, “You learn a lot from listening to people who have done more than you.”
Savannah David, another senior creative writing major, said that she enjoyed the reading.
David said, “It was nice to be able to go to one without dreading my own reading.”
Hess said afterward that she felt that the reading was awesome. She said that it had a good balance between serious, sad, and funny stories, which kept it entertaining.
She said that she felt this was a great opportunity for seniors to share their best work, but she also thought of it as a time to thank professors and friends for the support that they have provided over the years.