Undergrad Reading Reflection
I really enjoyed the undergraduate reading. It was nice to see so many young people with so much talent. I was particularly impressed with Elisabeth Frost’s flash fiction/prose poetry group. I liked how they lined up in a row as part of their reading and then all presented a line of their work. Each contribution was so polished, quirky, and lovable somehow that I was completely drawn into the world of this performance. There was something really atmospheric about it.
Afterward, I tried to think what exactly it was that had been so compelling so that we could find a way of applying it to the models we are experimenting with for CURA. For one thing, I thought that the visual configuration was attention-grabbing, and it gave me the sense that they were all contributing a little piece to a larger performance, rather than having any one of them trying to steal the show. It made me think more about the isolated versus communal conversation in terms of making and taking in art that we have been broaching in class over the last couple of weeks.
It made me start thinking about ways that we could draw our public more and more into the conversation, so to speak. I really do think that our multimedia platform invites this kind of interaction. This also resonates with Raven’s presentation today in terms of how nice it is for writers of fan fiction to receive that almost immediate feedback. The ideas that Caitlin discussed in class today about having links to other sites and opening up our comments section in certain areas of the website are also good ones to think about in terms of this topic of togetherness. I also think that the live magazine launch party will allow us to explore some of this question of how to increase the communal nature of a primarily literary art.
I liked the direction we were going in, along the lines of integrating action pieces into the stations that force people to actually do things—especially since I can imagine people being forced to participate with each other because of the silliness of seeing someone hold their breath while they write about love, for example. The completing of each other’s stories will also be a good way to ensure that people feel the presence of others as they create their own personal works. Then I like the idea of the postcard in terms of forcing those who attend our event to reach out to the outside world in some way. In short, I feel that our event is addressing some of the questions about how to make people come together that we have raised in class and that I thought Dr. Frost’s class embodied so very well.