Kylie Hoey reviews Creative Writing faculty BathHouse reading

EMU student Kylie Hoey reviews the EMU Creative Writing faculty’s BathHouse reading that took place earlier this semester:

At the first Bathhouse Reading, faculty from the creative writing program at Eastern read some of their works for us.  Christine Hume was the first of the three readers.  She read primarily from her published work Shot.  All of her poems were accompanied with a soundtrack consisting of sounds, music, and words, both the poem being repeated and words that set the mood of the poem.  The poem I remember the most was “Soggy Muff,” based off of a name in a piece written by Dr. Suess.  This piece talks about how sleep, death, and laziness are inferior to wakefulness.  Hume’s reading was timed well with her background sounds; when the sounds increased in speed and volume, Hume followed suit.  She finished her reading with “I Exhume Myself,” a poem that is supposed to be a play on her last name.

Hume was followed by Carla Harryman.  She began with “Light Poem,” which seemed to consists only of quickly reciting random words and phrases.  This piece reminded me of the play we read in class, “Not I.”  Harryman said that she was trying to repeat the style of another writer, but I did not catch the name.  She finished her reading with many selections from her book Baby.  These pieces got me thinking about what point of view the poems were being narrated from.  Some seemed to be describing the world from the point of a human baby, while others could never make sense from that angle.  I really enjoyed a quote from one of the last bits she read:  “Teenagers are the most mature beings on earth.”  This thought makes me laugh inside, but also think in a different way.

The reading was concluded by Rob Halpern, the newest member of the creative writing faculty.  He began reading “Love Song to My Fallen Soldier” from his work-in-progress book Music for Porn.  The piece made me wonder if the voice was a gay soldier, but I could not decide by the end.  Halpern then read from another of his books that mostly focused on intimate longing.  The thematic elements of this book seem to focus on war and love.  A lot of repetition occurs within the poems and throughout the book.  It did not sound as if a lot of the pieces were titled; this reminded me of A Season in Hell by Rimbaud.  Overall, the reading was enlightening and exposed me to different kinds of writing.