December 3, 2009

Yes, Reading!, November 21

Jonas Williams is a PhD candidate at SUNY Albany. His fiction has appeared in Columbia: A Journal and elimae. He is working on a book about creative writing pedagogy. He first read a selection of what he described as "dystopian muck fiction" including a Finnegan's Wake-like "Do Over". Then he read a longer selection of pieces he said were not dystopian muck fiction, but he didn't have a label for them yet. Sounded similar to me. Playful wordplay, such things as a dialogue with initials, some one page fictions. In "Ranch Ready Crop Tops" he made up words then used them in the piece & you could actually follow (& laugh) what was going on. And he looked like he was having fun too.

Tara Emelye Needham lives in Albany where she teaches courses in creative writing, literature and cultural theory while pursuing a Ph. D in English at the University at Albany. Her poems were easy to follow, political & humorous & even gentle at times, with titles like "Memory of a Deer" (about a collision with one), "Working Class Poet" & "Convalescence." "Convoy" was a about rising gas prices in 2008 that somehow worked in the composers Schoenberg & Webern. "Neutrinos" ("not a cereal" she said) came from a workshop with Bernadette Mayer, & "Low Key Reverie" was a pleasant way to end.

For more information about the series & sample poems from the poets see the Yes, Reading! website.

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