(Apologies in advance for any spelling and grammar errors, or a general lack of sense. I only slept for three hours.)
So I read last night, with Nick and Lauren. First MFA reading is under my belt. It was a lot of fun! I was nervous, but in a good way, and everyone was very supportive. There was a surprisingly good turnout considering that the weather was disgusting – cold and rainy – and the reading was held at the same time as the big Iowa game. A few of the 2nd and 3rd year MFAs went to the game instead of the reading, and I may never forgive them (joke), but a lot of MA/PhD students came out, especially our fellow first years, and I really appreciated that. I kept hugging people later and saying I was so glad they were there.
The readings here are very informal. Very not like they were at BG, for better or for worse, I’m not sure. They are organized by MFA students, held in a really cool campus building,
in this crazy basement room with red carpeted walls (couldn't find a good picture of the room), and there is beer. Rather a lot of beer actually. No faculty members attended last night – I don’t think they ever do for these types of readings, but I know there is a “works in progress” reading series with the students who are working on their theses, which is more formal. So, people drink and joke and make comments and the introductions are hilarious. Here’s the beginning of the intro my friend Daniel, a 2nd year MFA, wrote for me: “Various theories have been offered regarding the origins of Emily May Anderson. One story states that Dylan Thomas, king of the gods, awoke one morning with a splitting headache, and asked William Carlos Williams to strike him with a hammer. Williams did so, and Emily emerged from Thomas’s head, fully formed and carrying the notebook of wisdom and the pen of truth.” And it goes on in that vein.
The reading was great but nothing like the good old days in Prout Chapel, sneaking booze in soda bottles; here the beer is subsidized and right out in plain sight. Most of us went to a bar after the reading and then there was more socializing after that, hence my three hours of sleep, and my probable lack of sense here. It was a great experience though, and I look forward to the next reading.