Wednesday night six student writers showcased their literary talents in the newly renovated Goodrich Student Center during a poetry and prose reading organized by the Literary Society. The reading attracted about thirty people.
Founded last year by Tami Thompson ’01 and Jason Stanley ’00, the Literary Society provides an outlet for student writers to share and discuss their poetry and prose during informal weekly meetings. The Literary Society also publishes Dewdrops, a magazine of student writings.
Victoria Goldman ’01 opened the poetry and prose reading with a series of poems. Goldman read three of her works: “Nylons”, “Marian” and “Still.” In each, she painted vivid images, the most striking of which appeared in “Still,” a poem dealing with a couple’s strained relations during a drive to Boston.
The second writer to read was Sam Cha ’01, who presented “Losing Sight,” “Obsession,” “Fafnir’s Heart” and two untitled poems. Cha’s poems incorporated elements of shijo, the Korean equivalent to the Japanese haiku, and, in the case of “Fafnir’s Heart,” Norse mythology. In his first four poems, Cha addressed the serious subjects of love, loss and pain, but he ended his performance with a light-hearted poem about spring at Williams.
Cha said his goal was to spark a sense of reflection or connection in his reader. “Basically all I was hoping for was a kind of connection with the reader/listener, of sparking some sort of recognition of common experience, or, at the most, of producing a sense of wonder,” he said.
Following Cha’s presentation, Thompson read her short story “Day into Night.” The story describes the tension that arises between two best friends when one girl’s father becomes stricken with cancer and she refuses to discuss the matter with her friend. The story was inspired by one of the same name, which she published in last year’s edition of Dewdrops.
The fourth writer of the evening, Alison Hess ’01, read four poems, including one about her grandmother and one about her parents’ divorce entitled “Gale.”
After Hess, Lia Amakawa ’01 read her short story “The Stalker.” Despite the serious implications of the title, Amakawa said she intended for the story to be a humorous portrayal of how a lonely adolescent girl becomes “boy crazy” beyond what is normally expected. When the character’s efforts to control her hormones fail, she is left more deluded and boy crazy than ever.
Capping off the night was Patchen Mortimer ’00, who recited four poems: “Cliffs of Moher,” “Lighting Fires,” “Excuses for Not Doing Your Homework” and “Trawling,” a poem written two years ago in which Mortimer discusses the difficulties of dealing with personal tragedy. Mortimer prefaced “Trawling,” with a lengthy introduction about how the poem had taken on extra meaning for him this year as he dealt with a tragedy in his life.
Thompson, pleased with the audience turnout, gauged the poetry and prose reading a success. The Literary Society plans to sponsor additional special events, which will give student writers a chance to present their works to an audience, most notably First Night, a reading of Dewdrops by its authors.
In addition, every Tuesday from 9-10:30 in Goodrich Living Room the society will hold meetings for students to share and discuss their writing and works by their favorite authors or poets.