A fresh breeze coursed bright and brilliantly through Hodges Library Auditorium Friday as student writers read samples of their work at UT Student Writers: A Family Weekend Event.
Marilyn Kallet, director of the creative writing program, and Martha Rudolph of the Writers in the Library series, felt undergraduate poets and fiction writers had not been given enough of a chance to showcase the amazing talent that flourishes in the University. Friday’s UT Student Writers: A Family Weekend Event, was the first Undergraduate Writers in the Library series with, hopefully, many more to come.
“They want it,” Travis Eckert, junior in special education, said in reference to the artistic expression of the writers.
Featured student writers included Marissa Landis, Rachael MacLean and Taria Person, and recent alumnus Andrew Hamilton. Singer/songwriter RB Morris also presented a musical performance.
Landis, senior in the College Scholars Program, said she “has always written to think things through.”
MacLean, freshman in the Chancellor’s Honor Program, read a vivid short story and described her dialogue in such a way that she became her characters, said Eckert
But Person, senior in English, stole the show. For her last piece of the evening, she began softly singing legendary folksinger Odetta’s “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (a Long Way From Home),” then transitioned into spoken word without a second in between the two, as if she were using both vocal chords at once.
Christopher Barton, senior in English, commented on how powerful Person’s connection was with the audience as she drew the audience into her performance. Barton spoke about the difference of poetry slams where the poet is alone onstage in the spotlight and said spoken word is like waiting to be “released out of a cage if you’re the best.” But at this event she can relax and deliver the words as she pulls the audience into the story.
Those of the Creative Writing Program and the Writers in the Library had no doubt regarding the future success of these young talents, said Rudolph and Kallet.
At the close of the night, Morris, who still holds the record for being the writer in residence at UT for five years, crooned to the riffs and waves of his guitar.
“You become a child, your hand is out there in the sky,” said Morris.