Jessica Chrisekos reviews Intermedia Cabaret

Jessica Chrisekos reviews the recent Intermedia Cabaret:

Bathhouse Event: Intermedia Cabaret

On March 15th, 2012, Ypsilanti and surrounding areas were plagued by heavy hail storms and dangerous tornadoes. Despite the upsetting weather, my night took a delightful turn at an old martini bar in downtown Ypsilanti.

Writers of all ages and backgrounds joined together to perform their work in an old martini bar. The scene was dark and clustered, something you might expect of a poetry venue. Some of the writers and artists at this event were Rob Halpern, Evan Mann, Nick Compton, and Wolanda Willis. There were many other writers featured, and all performed their pieces with passion.

One of my favorite pieces that night was called “Nonsound, a Musical,” by Rob Halpern. The line that perhaps affected me most was, “Silence, a music we never hear.” Rob Halpern always has a way with words…creating a fluid-like rhythm pleasing to the ear. His sounds and ideas were manifested in his beautiful piece. Also featured was Evan Mann. Evan Mann took a different approach to poetry. His piece, entitled, “I am,” allowed for the use of his body to depict his emotions and reactions. Evan Mann also described how the body is useful in telling stories and saying things that are lost in language. Another writer was Wolanda Willis, who gave a stunning, passionate performance of her work. Her work was dedicated to her mentors, and it’s safe to say that they would be very proud of her work!

While the storm that night may have left some things unsettled, the Bathhouse event helped bring peace and inspiration to me and many other writers and listeners.

Jessica Chrisekos reviews Capstone Showcase

EMU student Jessica Chrisekos reviews the recent undergraduate Creative Writing Capstone event:

EMU’s Creative Writing Capstone Event

EMU’s Creative Writing Capstone Event was filled with many talented writers, artists, friends, and family. The event, which took place in EMU’s Student Center Gallery, was a collection of student’s works over the course of the last two semesters.

I was one of the readers at this event, but it was interesting to see the different approaches each writer took for their Capstone Project. Many writers used poetry as a way to express their ideas and feelings. Some read from stories they had been working on, and others summed up their work in a short film. While every project was different, each writer delivered their piece with unfailing passion.

The Capstone Event was filled with many passionate writers, but it also reflected the wonderful professors that helped guide and shape students in the Creative Writing program over the last several years. The professors present at the event were Christine Hume, Carla Harryman, and Rob Halpern, all talented writers and speakers.

I am proud to say that after four years of enjoyable work in the Creative Writing program, I am graduating with not only a better understanding of myself and my own work, but that I’ve learned so much from my professors and fellow graduates. The Creative Writing program was truly a blessing, and all of the students had wonderful, inspiring work to show for it.

Jessica Chrisekos reviews Taylor Brady

Following yesterday’s review of the first BathHouse Reading of this semester, EMU Creative Writing student Jessica Chrisekos shares her impressions from the second Fall BathHouse Reading, which featured Taylor Brady:

After just reading Snow Sensitive Skin, featuring work from both Taylor Brady and Rob Halpern, I was very excited to attend this BathHouse event. Taylor Brady was welcomed by Rob Halpern in a very heartfelt letter of appreciation and praise. It was enjoyable listening to Rob talk about Taylor’s accomplishments as a writer, and how he has inspired new thoughts and writings.

What I loved most about Taylor Brady’s work was that it dealt with a topic that is relatable to most people: debt. Not only was this topic relatable, but it’s not often a topic that I ever come across when reading poetry or prose. I enjoyed the fact that Taylor’s work was much different from other poetry that I read, and even my own poetry. To be honest, I don’t think I would ever include debt as a possible topic to write about. However, Taylor presented it in a lovely way throughout his poetry.

I also loved the physicality of Taylor’s work. Many words and sounds stuck with me because they seemed to be very physical words. His words were not only powerful, but they were doing something in the text. As a writer, it is often difficult to attain that level of physicality within a piece, but I think Brady’s work is a great example.

Jessica Chrisekos reviews Laura Wetherington, Jill Darling, and Sara Williams

EMU Creative Writing student Jessica Chrisekos reviews the EMU Faculty BathHouse Reading from earlier this semester that featured Laura Wetherington, Jill Darling, and Sara Williams:

On Wednesday, September 28th, Eastern welcomed Laura Wetherington, Jill Darling, and Sara Williams to the Creative Writing BathHouse Reading Series. Their performance was particularly enjoyable for me. They covered a range of topics, and they also included many styles of writing. The first style presented was a collaboration between Jill and Laura. They went back and forth reciting lines of their own. This was fun for the audience to listen to because there were two different voices that needed to be strung together to create one poem.

Along with a collaboration, many styles were present in their performance. There was humor, as well as a disturbing tale about a Michigan murder. Sara Williams also included a piece called “First Poem.” I really enjoyed listening to this. There is a sort of magic that comes along with children and the innocence they possess. It’s interesting to think that when we were very young, we had none of the cares that we carry now. “First Poem” had a special meaning to me, as it drew attention to the fact that perhaps life isn’t as troublesome as we thought. While there are hardships, it’s important to remember the simple things that never failed to interest us when we were so young.

I enjoyed this BathHouse reading because these three wonderful women had energy and passion. It’s always fun to watch a poet perform and express themselves. In a way, they are letting you into their mind for a brief moment, letting you think their thoughts, and feel their feelings. This was definitely the case for this event, as the readers captured and held my attention with their works.