The inaugural Writers’ Forum of fall term opened in the Alumni Room of Old Main on Monday, Oct. 14 and gave the opportunity for Creative Writing majors to recite their work for their peers, their teachers and the public. A modest crowd attended the forum and listened to seven authors read excerpts of novels, poems, vignettes and even film reviews.
There were stories about fly fishing trips set amidst authorial angst, poems touching on maternity, a fantasy excerpt from a novel and even a film review about the feminine body and lack of appetite in “Rebecca,” a Hitchcock film from the 1940s. The authors who read at the Writers’ Forum were seniors Lauren Styczynski, Duncan Cochran, Ashley Hamilton, Maria Silva, Rachel Lee, Markie-Jo Crismon and Aby Izquierdo.
From the beginning of the forum, the audience sat in the starkly silent Alumni Room, fiercely attentive to each author. People were still coming in to grab seats after the first two authors had wrapped up their work. At the end of a huge wooden rectangular table were professors Monica Berlin, Chad Simpson and Cyn Kitchen, all of whom had students reading at the forum.
The authors proved themselves to be well on their way down winding writer career paths. Writers Forum acts as one of the final requirements for the Creative Writing major. In addition, the forum is integral in fulfilling the Oral Competency requirement.
Styczynski, who was the first author to read at Writers Forum, remarked that the event is a good opportunity to prepare pieces for the final portfolio (another Creative Writing major requirement) and admitted that, in the preparatory aspect of the forum, she “spoke kind of fast” in order to insure that she read all her selected pieces within the allotted time of eight to 10 minutes.
“It was nice to hear other students’ work. I’d never had class with any of the other people at the forum,” Styczynski said.
It was Styczynski’s first forum as either a spectator or a reader, and for a first-time attendee the experience was a short glance into the final realization of the writing process, the recitation.
Sophomore Andrew Marr, a spectator who’s been to a few forums, said this particular gathering held in store some talents he’d never seen.