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November 07, 2008
Vol. 50 No. 9

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Students showcase literary achievements

The Writer's Institute held the first of three senior readings for the fall semester on Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the Lore Degenstein Art Gallery at 7:30 p.m.

The reading featured work from seniors Sara Basher, Sumerly Buccino, Stacy Gallaher, Spencer Smith and Kathryn Watson. Four of the five readers are graduating in December.

All senior Creative Writing majors are required to participate in a senior reading in order to graduate, as well as create their own chapbook, a small booklet that showcases the student's writing from their studies at Susquehanna.

During the reading, the students pick a piece or multiple pieces of their writing to read aloud.

In the 20 minutes each student is given to read, they present their best work to the faculty of the Writing Department, other writing students, friends and family.

Dr. Gary Fincke, professor of English and director of the Writing Department, introduced the readers.

Fincke said that because four of the five readers are graduating in December, they are reading so that "they can show what they've achieved, and sometimes what they've done gets overlooked," Fincke said.

The first reader of the night was Kathryn Watson. Watson, who has mainly focused on writing poetry during her studies, read five poems and one fiction piece.

Watson said that her fiction piece, titled "Clinical," has sections that were written with "a style to suggest reading an encyclopedia."

Sumerly Bucino read second, sharing two poems and a short story. Her short story was titled "Six Apparitions of Lenin on a Grand Piano," which was inspired by the Salvador Dali painting of the same title.

Her second poem was titled "Wide Awake," after indie-folk band Bright Eyes' 2005 album "Wide Awake, It's Morning."

"I listened to [the album] while I wrote this," Bucino said. "So I attribute this poem to that album."

The third reader was Spencer Smith, who has not focused on only one genre while studying at Susquehanna.

Smith read six poems, an excerpt from a short fiction story and a memoir piece.

"I chose to read my best work in fiction, poetry and nonfiction because all three genres have been equally important to my writing career at Susquehanna," Smith said.

"I was nervous until I was up there reading," Smith added. "And then it was surprisingly fun and only slightly intimidating."

The fourth person to read was Sara Basher, who focused primarily on poetry. She read all of her poetry pieces.

"I basically nixed all of my poetry written before a year and a half ago." Basher said.

"I wanted to make sure that each poem I read was as perfect as it could be given the time constraint," Basher added.

Basher said, "Most of my poetry is very serious and almost somber [so I] tried to pick some lighter [poems] to break up the mood."

One of her last poems, titled "For Anthony Bourdain," was about Anthony Bourdain, a famous chef and host of the Travel Channel show "Anthony Bourdain: No Restraints."

The last reader of the night was Stacy Gallaher, who read a non-fiction piece titled "X-Ray."

Gallaher wrote this piece in Fincke's Literary Journalism class during the spring 2008 semester.

The next two senior readings will be Nov. 17 and Dec. 3, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Lore Degenstein Art Gallery.


The Crusader/Colleen Nord
Delivery-- Senior Spencer Smith reads some of his literary works during the senior reading held in Lore A. Degenstein Gallery on Oct. 29.

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