Novel excerpts, short stories, memoirs, poetry, staged readings, writing for ‘tweens or young adults, picture books with their illustrations hugely projected behind their authors–Lesley’s MFA in Creative Writing Program has always used its evening faculty readings to showcase the many different ways we understand diversity. The readings also allow faculty to raise their hands and say Here are my chops–or, perhaps, to put their money where their mouths are (assuming they receive royalties). Often, the reading’s occasion is a new book–Laurie Foos’s Toast, Jane Brox’s Silence–but just as often, the work presented hasn’t yet been heard, let alone read from a printed page. Kate Snodgrass’s ten-minute play erupted from her anger after the Brent Kavanaugh hearings; the poems I read come from an unpublished manuscript entitled Listen. (Jane and I think a sense of the dialectic demands a joint Silence/Listen reading tour!) Our reading series always includes a visitor–the excerpt from Renée Watson’s gives us a taste of her artful storytelling, as well as a glimpse of the life informing her art. Danielle Legros Georges’s poetry and presentation had us on the edges of our seats; Chris Lynch engrossed us, as always, in the voice of his narrator from sentence #1; Stephen Haven read some of his impressive work, both new and older; and Jason Reynolds . . . was Jason Reynolds; what more need be said?
Some of the “best that has been thought and said” got said at last January’s faculty readings. You are invited to listen.
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