The first of the Voices Reading Series, featuring faculty member Karen Leona Anderson in conjunction with Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, took place on September 23 in the Daughtery-Palmer Commons. Despite its taking place on a Friday night, there was a positive turnout: a mixture of faculty and students.
The presentation of poems treated the audience to a distinct mixture of topics ranging from the feeling of drinking a flat coke to the act of lynching a human being. The oratory style both Anderson and Clief-Stefanon embedded into the readings of their poems spoke to the personal sentiment it takes to craft a poetic work. The silence that fell over the audience as the poems were read was absolute; there was no paucity of engagement.
For those that were attending a Voices reading for the first time, the experience proved to be a positive one. First-year student Will Becker characterized the event as one that was “highly enjoyable”. In addition to a passionate presentation of their work to the audience, a striking feature of this first Voices presentation was the respectful yet engaged environment that lasted for the duration of the event.
After both Clief-Stefanon and Anderson had finished their readings the interactive question session fostered a connection between speaker and audience that likely compelled those in attendance to continue to support the Voices Series. If you missed the first session, be sure to attend the next reading, “Righting Writing’s Wrongs”, set to take place at the Daughtery-Palmer Commons on October 13.