Tag Archives: literary readings

Get Ready for In Print 2014 by Reading These Interview Excerpts

The 2014 In Print Festival is coming next week in Assembly Hall at the Alumni Center! On Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 PM, the visiting authors will read from their work.  The authors, along with editor Jodee Stanley, will also participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 PM. By attending the Festival, you will be able to reach out to the writing community and gain insight into life as a writer from experienced authors. To get a taste of who will be speaking at the Festival, take a look at these interview excerpts from the In Print panelists.  Full versions of the interviews can be found in the newest edition of The Broken Plate, which is available for free to all who attend In Print.

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Slash Pine Poetry Festival: Day #2

Matt Mullins reading, photo courtesy of Layne Ransom

I was most excited for the second day of the Slash Pine Poetry Festival. My nerves were operating at a low hum, as I didn’t have to read, and had logged a day’s worth of experience in Alabama, so I could operate the whole day with just my wonder gaze on. The belly full of fried catfish, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread didn’t hurt, either. Cornbread everywhere you go—how hospitable, how comfy.

The first reading I attended was at the Green Bar. The area of the bar was somewhat narrow, but stretched far into a dark space that ended at a raised stage. Green Bar’s scene was reminiscent of the local Be Here Now readings—cramped, dusky—and while BHN readings tend to have a fair attendance, the Green Bar’s reading was brimming with people. By the time us Ball State visitors arrived, it was standing room only, save for a few seats sparsely dotted throughout, and only visible seconds before someone else smoothed into them.

Michael Martone and Abe Smith, two University of Alabama writers and teachers in attendance, had quickly become iconic in my mind. I remembered Martone’s Blue Guide to Indiana only somewhat from Professor Sean Lovelace’s fiction class, and I’d only discovered Smith’s work the night before. Still, they each had a quality about them that made me glad to inhabit their vicinities. Almost as if the genuine and original quality their writing held was also something they exuded—something you could inhale and catch.

I hoped there would be some happenstance, some alignment of supernatural elements that would result in Martone and Smith reading at the festival, but it must not have been in the cards. I didn’t leave Alabama feeling literarily deprived, though. There were too many good writers, and if anyone left with that feeling, they didn’t pay attention well enough. Some highlights from the Green Bar readers were Brandi Wells and Oliver de la Paz. Wells read from her Worst Times series. Something about her, and her writing, seemed genuinely tough. And in a room full of writers—a group generally thought to bruise easy and over think making a fist instead of blocking a right hook—Wells’ writing aesthetic was refreshing. Oliver de la Paz was one of those readers that maintains a gentle cadence and looks to be talking in a somewhat hushed tone, but you realize you can hear him clear as day because he’s mind-controlling the entire room. You realize he’s doing something with a combination of mood, sound, and vocabulary that hooks into everyone in the audience. Just after he read, I found myself bobbing my head up and down, saying, “Mhmm, good stuff, good stuff.”

The next reading was at the Bama Theatre. It was a weird environment: a production of The Wizard of Oz letting out scattered munchkins, Wicked Witch of the West guards, and flying monkeys, while throughout the reading gussied-up kids passed by the wall-sized windows on their way to the prom. Ellie Isenhart, who graduated from Ball State’s M.A. Creative Writing program in 2010 and is now part of the University of Alabama’s M.F.A. Creative Writing program, read from a letters series with a bite. Christopher DeWeese put me back in my too-baggy clothes and heavily gelled hair with his collection of poems inspired by 90’s alternative music (nobody talks about the song “Lightning Crashes” anymore, and I’ve been waiting for this a long time—thanks, DeWeese). When Matt Mullins started on the mic, I felt pretty proud to be affiliated. Just as Lovelace had one of the best crowd responses at his reading, Mullins got to the audience. In his reading style, you can tell he has a good grasp of rhythm and sound; that he revels in that locus where the oral and written aspects of literature hold equal importance.

The Slash Pine Poetry Festival was a lit dog race, a lit endurance trial. But I imagine most of the readers have sat through long, dry, odyssean readings themselves, though. They seemed to make effort to keep things lively. It’s a great thing to be surrounded by people that share your passions and are excited by the same things you are. You’re great hosts/hostesses, U of A people. Thank you kindly for an awesome experience.

Signed,

Jeremy Bauer

Reading tonight!

Tonight, there will be a reading at Village Green Records at 7:30 PM to announce the release of the chapbook How to Get a Job as a Mermaid. The chapbook was written as a collaboration between Ashley Ford, Abby Hines, Lindsey LaVal, Layne Ransom, Elysia Smith, and Lora Thompson, all of whom will be reading from their works tonight. The chapbook will be available for $3.

After the reading, there will be a special showing of the film An Island—a short documentary about indie rock band Efterklang from Copenhagen, Denmark. Both events could take place either inside or outside the record store, depending on weather.

Annual Gala Winners Reading

From left to right: Layne Ransom, Lindsey P. LaVal, Spencer McNelly

Tonight! The Writers Community will be hosting its annual Undergraduate Gala Winners Reading. The reading serves as one of the outstanding prizes awarded to Layne Ransom, Lindsey P. LaVal, and Spencer McNelly for winning the top three places at the Undergraduate Writers Gala last fall. The reading will be in Bracken Library, room 104, at 7:30 p.m. Come out and celebrate this great accomplishment of your peers by listening to their work. It’s sure to be a great time, so don’t miss out!

Trickster: Tales of Mischief from Around the World, by Amy Higgins

Learning that I some day had to write a senior thesis was by far the scariest moment of my freshman year. Just thinking about devoting an entire semester to an academic paper was torture; I couldn’t imagine how bad writing it would be. Thankfully, the Honors College is merciful, and the senior Honors thesis can be about anything. Since I’m a creative writing major, I decided to write a story, and then left the details for future Amy to take care of.

Eventually, I decided on a collection of short stories based on folktales. Each of the stories highlights a trickster character that appears in more than one culture. For example, in Mesoamerican myth, the character Coyote is always hungry, often trying to trick others into giving him a meal, or becoming one. In Native American tales, Coyote is a culture hero who fights monsters and uses his tricks to help others. My story, “Coyote Waters the World,” combines these two personalities. Coyote only wants a quick meal, but he ends up doing a great service for humanity. The other three stories are written in the same manner, and with the hope that they will encourage readers to strike out in search of their own connections between folktales and the cultures they originate from.

I asked Professor Elizabeth Dalton to watch over me as I wrote this collection, and I absolutely must pause and heap as much praise upon her as I can. Beth has been beyond fabulous, a wonderful mix of teacher and therapist who kept me sane at some critical moments in the semester. At the same time, she encouraged me to push my boundaries by doing something like, I don’t know, suggesting that I do a reading of my work this Wednesday, February 23rd, at 4:00 p.m. in RB 361. I hope to see you there!

Faculty reading: Cathy Day and Matt Mullins

On Thursday, February 10th, there will be a faculty reading in AJ 225 featuring Professors Cathy Day and Matt Mullins. The reading will start at 7:30, and is a great opportunity to see what your professors/peers are writing. Cathy Day is the author of Comeback Season, a memoir following the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl season, and Circus in Winter, a short story collection recently adapted into a musical by the Virginia Ball Center immersive learning experience. Matt Mullins is a screenwriter, poet, and fiction writer. His work has appeared in such literary magazines as Hobart, kill author, Pleiades, Harpur Palate, and Hunger Mountain. Mullins is also an Emerging Media Fellow currently working on several experimental films and a series of interactive literature interfaces.

This event is free and open to the public, so come out and enjoy some refreshments while listening to these professors’ great work!

Student reading tonight!

Tonight, there will be a student-organized reading at Be Here Now in the Village. The reading will take place at 9:30 and will require a $1 cover for all attendees under 21. The readers, in no particular order, are: Phoebe Blake, David Jessee, Ashley Ford, Cody Davis, and Ryan Rader. Ryan Rader will also be releasing two chapbooks, First Rodeo: Poems and The Millennial Hipster: Superficial Reflections. Come out and enjoy the writing of your peers!

Two events this weekend starring our very own BSU professors!

Looking for a way to round out your first week? Well, we’ve got a couple of events that should help.

This Friday, January 14th, Professor Cathy Day will read from her memoir Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love. The event will be held at the E.B. & Bertha C. Ball Center at 10:00 a.m. Day will discuss the different ways sports have informed her writing, her teaching, and her life (her memoir pairs the Indianapolis Colts comeback season with her experience as a 30-something professional looking for love).

Here’s a breakdown of the event information:

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: E.B.& Bertha C. Ball Center, 400 Minnetrista Blvd, Muncie, IN 47303
Cost: No charge, but reservations are required.

*Please call 285-8975 for more information and to make your reservation.

The second event this weekend is Vouched Presents: Matt Bell, Sean Lovelace, Aaron Burch, and Andy Devine. This reading will take place at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday, January 15th, at 7:00 p.m. Matt Bell was part of last year’s In Print Festival, representing the editorial portion of the Q&A panel. He has recently released a book of short stories titled How They Were Found, and is the creator and editor of The Collagist, an online literary magazine. Our very own Professor Sean Lovelace will be reading as well, so this is a great chance to hear his work and pick up a copy of his chapbook How Some People Like Their Eggs. The Vouched Presents reading series is put on by Ball State alumnus Christopher Newgent, who gave us a great interview on his project Vouched Books and how he balances his passion for writing with his working life, which you can read here.

Here’s a breakdown of this event’s info:

Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, 1043 Virginia Avenue, Suite 5, Indianapolis, IN 46203
Cost: FREE

Attending events like these can really bolster the college experience, so take advantage while you can!