Creative Writing Students Prepare for BFA Senior Reading

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

As a part of the Bachelors of Fine Arts Creative Writing program, seniors who are in the Seminar in Writing class will have the opportunity to read their own work in the Landing.

   This event is similar to the Visiting Writers Series, only instead of a published author, students will be reading pieces that they have worked on throughout their four years at UMF.  

   Jeffrey Thomson, Professor of Creative Writing, who is teaching the seminar this semester, discussed what the senior reading is. “The seniors take this [class] and they write a portfolio and develop their work and start working on publishable quality throughout the semester,” said Thomson. “They are then given the opportunity to showcase that work with a public reading for the campus, the community, their parents, their friends, anybody who wants to come, and they get to show off a little bit.”

   According to Thomson, the class helps prepare the seniors to read their writing in a public setting, such as projecting their voice to a large crowd, looking directly to the audience while speaking and not hiding away from the listeners.

   Despite the nerves of speaking to an audience, Hannah Calkin, a senior in the seminar, is excited to share her writing with the community. In an online interview, Calkin said, “I used to do theater in high school, so I’m fairly comfortable speaking in public. However, I am a little nervous. I feel like much of what I’ve done in my college career has led to the senior reading, and I really want to pick my strongest work.”

   Calkin admitted that she does not know what she’s reading at the presentation, but has at least 30 poems to choose from. Calkin also claimed that poetry is her favorite type of style to write as her writing portfolio in the class features mostly poetry pieces.

   Another senior in the class, Nova Jarvis, who is a fiction writer, has an idea of what she may read. “I think what I’m going to do is a piece that I’ve been working on, it has little notes that get written about colors because the main character can only see in grayscale,” said Jarvis. “This girl writes what colors feel like so she can experience them. So, I think I might take all of those and read them, but I’m not sure yet.”

   When asked about presenting in public, Jarvis confessed that if she finds a particular piece of her own writing to be good to her standards, she has no problem sharing it to the public.

   What makes Thomson proud is the fact that the seniors get to showcase their writing skills at the reading. “You [the seniors] gotta present in this public setting and people really respond, and they produce good work over the semester that I really like seeing. So, I like seeing them get the credit that they deserve for all the hard work.”

   The reading will feature eleven Creative Writing Seniors in the Landing on May 3, 2018. The reading is at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and is open to UMF and the public.