Graduate Studies

Interview With the Curators of the Graduate Reading Series

Eric Matthews

October 03, 2011

The Graduate Reading Series 09232011 Event
From left to right: Emily Neeves, Dave Snyder, LP Picard, Wesley Rothman, Charlotte Seley, Zaynah Qutubuddin, Shannon Wagner, and Graham Trail.

The Graduate Reading Series, one of the Graduate Student Organizations in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing department, recently held one of their events on September 23. Afterward, the curators of the Graduate Reading Series and Creative Writing graduate students Emily Neeves and Shannon Wagner were able to answer some questions about their group:

What is the Graduate Reading Series (GRS) and what happens during a typical meeting?

The Graduate Reading Series is a forum for student writers to share their work. Each event features six readers, who have fifteen minutes to read their poetry, prose, playwriting, or some combination thereof. The reading provides a relaxed atmosphere to not only share our creativity, but to practice skills that we, as writers, will be called upon to use by our publishers once we've scored that first book contract. The mood of the writing ranges from oftentimes humorous to sometimes somber, but always entertaining.

What are the goals of this year's Graduate Reading Series?

To have fun and get to know the writers in the program we haven't had the privilege to meet in class yet.  To showcase some of Emerson's fine writing talent and inspire those who attend.

How does the Graduate Reading Series foster a community with the Writing, Literature, and Publishing department?

By hosting bi-weekly events, we provide WLP students a chance to mingle and network with each other. It's a great place to meet people with common goals and aspirations. It's also a great way for students to share finished pieces or works-in-progress. It's a very casual atmosphere.

Can graduate students of any program attend the readings, or are they limited to Writing, Literature, and Publishing graduate students?

All graduate students are welcome to attend! The more, the merrier!

How many students typically attend these readings?

Between 40 and 50, I'd say.

How did the event on September 23, 2011 go? Who read at the event?

Our first reading was a huge success. We featured LP Picard (fiction), Wes Rothman (poetry), Graham Trail (fiction), Charlotte Seley (poetry), Zaynah Qutubuddin (fiction), and Dave Snyder (fiction). We had a great turnout, and the readers were fantastic. We set a pretty high precedent for the semester with this reading.

Where would you like to see the Graduate Reading Series in the future?

We're actually, believe it or not, pretty happy with what the GRS accomplishes and what it stands for at the present time. I suppose what we'd like to see, then, is for this to continue: great readers, great attendance, and a relaxed, fun, but professional atmosphere.

For more information on the Graduate Reading Series, contact the group at