Pirates present quirky works

Themes can bring life to any event. They can be cute. They can be funny. They can be creative.

The theme for the recent creative writing student reading was all of the above: Walking into the creative writing room in Baker Hall 260 (also known as The Glad) last Thursday, the audience was welcomed by a handful of friendly pirates to Pirates vs. Ninjas: The Creative Writing Student Reading.

Every semester, the English department sponsors three creative writing student readings. They always have a theme, and the organizers encourage the attendees to dress up in accordance with the theme. The works read do not have to relate to the theme — it serves more as a source to allow students to be silly and have a great time.

Junior creative writing major Adriana Rodriguez, who attended the event, said, “I want to hear students read their original works — things that I have not yet been exposed to. I want to hear the different rhythms in the works.”

The Glad could not be a more ideal location for this event to take place. Its intimately sized room, book-lined walls, and use of copious wooden furniture immersed the audience in a relaxed atmosphere and a reflective mood.

The lights were turned down, and the students sharing their work — seniors Aaron Bernkopf, Ila Foley, Ines Pujos, and Danny Kane — read at a podium under a dim light. It set the mood nicely, bringing a greater sense of relaxation and tranquility into the room as the writers read aloud.

“The event is low key, and places students in a low-pressure situation. It allows us to hang out with the creative writing community,” said Foley.

Various creative works were read, such as poetry inspired by Frida Kahlo, a personal essay about the supernatural, and a poem inspired by the recent AB Lecture guest, Annie Sprinkle. All the works were inspiring and highly creative. It was nice to see the incredible talent that the students from the English department have to offer, especially since their talents tend to be publicly displayed less often than those in, say, the College of Fine Arts.

The night ended with a raffle that had random prizes, such as a map of Europe from the 1970s. Caroline Kessler, a senior creative writing major who helped to organize the event, said, “I think the night turned out really well. There was a very friendly atmosphere.” There wasn’t a large turnout, but perhaps that worked to the event’s advantage — the small crowd lent well to the intimacy of the evening.

The next creative writing student reading will take place on Nov. 3 and is sure to host another delightful theme and more wonderfully offbeat student work.