Creative writers perform at coffee shop

(Photo by Katy Grogan) Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse brews up great drinks and great stories. Night Heron will host the last session of the UW MFA Reading Series of the semester on Friday, Dec. 8.

The creative writing Graduate Program will be hosting a last student reading series for this semester at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8, at Night Heron Book Downtown.

Three second-year graduate students in creative writing, Ann Grass, Annie Osburn and Kevin Kelley will be reading their work for the public.

The reading series was started not long after the MFA Program.

“It is basically students reading from their work and they usually do three to four a semester, depends on how many students there are,” Gwyn Lemler, Graduate Assistant Coordinator and Office Associate for the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program, said. “Every student gets a chance to get to read their work.”

The second-year students’ read in the fall semester, whereas the first-year students’ read in the spring. Sometimes they organize undergraduate readings on occasion.

“Learning how to do public reading because that’s the major part of being a professional creative writer,” Lemler said.

Robert Culley, freshmen at UW, said, “Reading to public takes a lot of courage. But being a creative writing major, one needs to overcome their fear. And, this event gives the opportunity.”

Graduate students will be reading an excerpt from their own piece in their preferred genres.

“Usually if it’s a non-fiction or fiction piece, they will read an excerpt,” Lemler said. “It might be a chapter or something they are working in the class. For poets, it’s two to three pages of poem. I think they often do 15 to 20 minute readings, so it is not a very long reading.”

The event is free and can be attended by anyone from the public.

“It’s just a public reading,” Lemler said. “It’s attended by anyone who wants to go and give them some experience reading on the public. In terms of feedback, they are reserved for the workshops.”

In the past years, the creative writing program has also conducted some special nights where UW alumni are invited to read their piece.

“We usually do that in spring, once we run out of other students to read,” Lemler said. “We invite the alumni to do the reading as well.”

Ella Smith, majoring in English said, “I am always excited to listen to the authors and their way of using clichés in a different way. And, coffee just gives the plus point to it.”

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