Article Written by CJ Laudenbach — General Editor. Photo by CJ Laudenbach.
On Oct. 13, Claire Wahmanholm, Sarah Green and Natalie Shapero presented excerpts from their recent publications to a virtual audience of dozens.
Sarah Green, a professor here at SCSU and the host of the reading, read from her book, “Earth Science.” She also treated the audience to readings from her current project.
“I have heard other authors talk about becoming writers because they have big feelings that are hard to describe,” Green said. “And that certainly characterizes my experience. I appreciate the lyric concision of poetry–its ability to collapse and distill time, and to layer meaning.”
Claire Wahmanholm is the author of “Meltwater,” “Redmouth” and “Wilder,” as well as the chapbook “Night Vision.” She read poems from “Meltwater” for the reading.
“I want to write poems that make readers feel things differently; that surprise them; that soften their terror or anxiety or cynicism; that amplify their delight or hope or vastness,” said Wahmanholm. “I used to want my poems to reach the biggest audience possible, but now I feel that if you can write a poem that even one person will carry with them through whatever darkness is ahead, you can’t hope for much more.”
Natalie Shapero is the author of “POPULAR LONGING,” which she read pieces from.
Her piece “True Apothecary” was published in The New Yorker early October, and details her relationship to the word ‘Ironic’.
“I use a lot of quotations — from books, from film, from advertising, from overheard conversations — in my work, set apart from the rest of the poem in small caps, to try to capture the feeling of a line — usually something which which I disagree or which I wish I hadn’t heard or seen — being nonetheless really indelible in memory.”
When asked what inspired her to put together the reading, Green said, “I had a feeling that our poems would fit well together– we all, in different ways, write about striving for the survival of tenderness and care in the context of global and personal catastrophe.”
Green went on to admit this was her first time hosting a Zoom reading. “I’ve usually just attended or read as a featured author. But my favorite thing about Zoom readings versus live readings is the opportunity for listeners to respond in the chat in real time to certain lines, creating a fun call-and-response type of effect. It’s a collaborative and engaging energy that I hope we can preserve in some way in future in-person readings.”
Earth Science, Meltwater, and POPULAR LONGING are all available for online purchase. Earth Science [hyperlink https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29369702-earth-science ] Pre-Order Meltwater [hyperlink https://milkweed.org/book/meltwater ] POPULAR LONGING [hyperlink https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56662948-popular-longing ]
The next poetry reading hosted by the Creative Writing Program at SCSU will take place October 27th at 7pm in the Miller Center Auditorium.