Both aspiring novelists and poetry lovers will appreciate Temple’s Poets and Writers Series.
The English Department, the Provost’s Office, the Dean’s Office and the Richard Moyer Fund all sponsor the weekly events in which fiction writers and poets read their work to the public.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis, a professor in the English Department and Director of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing Program at Temple, describes the guests as “really interesting fiction writers who are doing highly regarded and cutting edge work.”
“Every semester we bring 10 readers to campus to see the most cutting-edge writing we can program,” DuPlessis said.
The authors who will present their work this month include Leslie Scalapino (tonight), George Saunders (Oct. 10), Joseph McElroy (Oct. 16) and Rose Marie Waldrop (Oct. 23).
Leslie Scalapino, author of “R-hu,” “Orchid Jetsam” and “Zither & Autobiography,” mixes poetry, prose, fiction, essays and plays in a single composition. DuPlessis said Scalapino’s style is “very cutting edge, avant-garde work in the forefront of interesting literature.” Scalapino is interested in how consciousness reveals itself in writing.
George Saunders visits Temple Oct. 10. His books include “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella,” “Pastoralia” and “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip.” DuPlessis described Saunders’ work as been touted as “scathingly funny with many critical perceptions of American society.”
Joseph McElroy, who speaks Oct. 16, wrote eight novels including “A Smuggler’s Bible,” “Lookout Cartridge,” “Women and Men” and “Actress in the House.”
“[McElroy] is an extremely subtle and emotionally sensitive writer with a great sense of style,” DuPlessis said.
At the Oct. 23 reading, Rose Marie Waldrop will showcase her novels “A Key into the Language of America,” “Reluctant Gravities” and “Lawn of Excluded Middle,” among others. Waldrop, a distinguished poet and an English translator of foreign works, is interested in the play of language and time.
Many Temple students attend the readings. Graduate students from the Creative Writing M.A. program showcase their own writing by reading to the audience for 10 minutes. The featured writer then takes the stage and reads for 45 minutes.
“It’s very engaging for graduate students,” DuPlessis said. They are getting experience and education in new writing.”
Undergraduate students interested in writing also attend the series. The Creative Writing graduate students teach undergraduate fiction and poetry writing courses. The undergrads are also educated when listening to the graduate students readings.
DuPlessis said, “It’s very fun to be read to. You can get a taste of writing without actually having to read or buy the book. You can broaden your horizons and be read to at the same time.”
The Poets and Writers Series takes place at 8 p.m. at Temple University Center City and the Temple Gallery on 45 North 2nd St.
Admission to the series is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the Graduate Creative Writing Program at (215) 204-1796.
Lorie Maher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.