On Thursday, October 20th, Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters hosted another successful Writers Under Thirty Open Reading. The room seemed to buzz with excitement as four readers shared their work with an audience for the first time, and six other readers shared new content.
Briana Urena-Ravelo, a veteran of the feedback reading, used the advice that she’d gotten from regional author Phillip Sterling and gracefully read a post-apocalyptic fiction piece. Another fiction reader, Kenny Porter, wrote a well-dialogued piece about a couple who chased mysterious lights in the Southwest. Aubriel VanDyke, shared beautiful verse about bodies, and Jackie Vega shared new work from a prospective series based on Kate Bush music videos. Kelly Brown shared a beautiful scene-inspired piece that reflected paintings and artwork she has been exploring recently.
There are often questions posed— "Is my narrative meaningful? Can my writing change the way others see the world?” These questions are answered by the beautiful pieces of prose and essay, of nonfiction and poetry, of scene building and questioning, that young writers bring to GLCL. Each reader under thirty is opening themselves to the vulnerability of creation, and inviting us into the narrative that they are creating in our local literary community.
Thanks to Maleny Crespo, other readers such as Gino Gonzalez and Nikita Minor, were introduced to Writers Under Thirty and were given a platform to share their reactions to education and the 2016 Olympics that took place this summer. Julia Tu, a drop-in reader who was visiting Grand Rapids and stumbled upon the event, shared a vulnerable fiction piece about relationships and learning to love. KFG, a slam poet who recently returned from teaching poetry to freshman at Wichita State University, shared page poetry with the audience, an intimate gift.
Writers Under Thirty, in partnership with Bombadil Books and GLCL, has been a beautiful platform for those who are in or outside of a writing program in the Grand Rapids area; it has been a means of sharing creative, literary work. Because of the Writers Under Thirty programming, many writers have been given the support system that they need to learn how to navigate readings, write bios, and create interesting content for audience members. While the GLCL is an excellent space in which to hear good work from local writers, it is also a great place for writers to connect with the larger literary community. The richness and dynamic quality that these writers bring to the literary scene in Grand Rapids cannot be ignored, as these souls bring creativity and excitement with them into their search for truth and beauty through the written word.
--- Danielle Clark, Moderator of Writers Under Thirty
Fresh Ink BLOG
Musings, news, and information about the writing life in the Great Lakes region.
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