Things That Are Read
On Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Performance Space, Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Creative Writing and Literature senior
class readings commence. The first of three senior reading shows this year, near-graduates Amaya Hoke, Marisa Doherty, Nicholas Thomas and Maria Salazar-Steinman, will grace the ears of peers, faculty and guests with selections from their senior books.
Hoke, Doherty, Thomas and Salazar are all very pleased with their reading group, on both personal and book levels. “Not only does our work line up thematically, but we’re all friends, so we aren’t dealing with any external drama outside of the normal pressures and nerves of planning our senior reading,” Doherty says. The others agree, praising each other and noting how themes and strategies throughout the four books flow into the others.
Each book includes different genres of writing. In Hoke’s book, body and nature are used to explore organized chaos, unhealthy relationships and fertility in an array of lyric essays, prose poetry and fiction. Hoke especially hones in on creation and rebirth, feminism in man v. nature literary fashion and the idea that “two people can be in a relationship that is bad, but it doesn’t mean that either of them is a bad person.”
Doherty’s book, which predominately includes poetry and short stories with some nonfiction sprinkled in, explores the rupturing of relationships between romantic partners, siblings, parents and their children, and describes the tone as contemplative and “a little bit mournful.” She wrote most of the pieces after her grandmother’s passing, which, she says, changed the way she considered her relationships with her family and sparked her emphasis on how endings can catalyze their own kind of beginnings.
Thomas’s book is more of a prelude for his novel, a fantasy manuscript about two brothers that he’s been working on for about four years now. While the larger work focuses more on brotherly bonds, anti-racism and anti-revenge, this upcoming long-form beginning zeroes in more on grief and overcoming loss.
Salazar, who includes fiction, nonfiction and poetry in her book, feels like her collection is a personal, honest testament to who she is. It largely revolves around themes of death, approaching concepts like mysticism, grief and the concept of mortality. Other interrogations address love, family, sense of self, immigration and nationality.
When asked how they felt about the impending reading, especially as the first group of this graduating class, the four students are mostly excited. While they are all experienced public readers, only Hoke and Thomas are less nervous about that aspect. However, despite knowing that she’ll be reading again in May for the Glyph Gala, Hoke feels a sort of finality to this senior reading, like all of her past readings have been leading to this moment. Similarly, Doherty and Salazar have been looking forward to this event since their freshman year, even though public reading is not among their favorite things to do. Salazar explains that while she’s had a long-time fear of freezing up when the big moment comes, her nerves are out-shined because “it’s the fact that I’m standing there before all the people that have watched my progress, not only as a student but as a writer as well, that makes me proud.” Thomas is hardly worried at all, for him or his fellow group members, saying, “Everyone else in my group is so talented and their stage presences are so great.”
Everyone is invited to attend Tuesday evening to hear these talented students read, as well as to the other two senior reading shows The time and location for each reading is 7 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Performance Space. Senior books will be available for purchase in May.
Tuesday, April 18:
Felicia Mackey, Jackie Braze and Jen Hanson
Tuesday April 25:
Salem Farrell, Ana Stina Rimal and Melinda Freudenberger.