On Thursday, Oct. 16, poet B. K. Fischer, writer Michelle Hoover, and playwright Masha Obolensky read from their respective works in Mary Lyon. Those who attended the event heard selections of poetry as well as excerpts from a fiction novel and plays.
The evening opened with B. K. Fischer, who shared several poems from her memoir style book, St. Rage’s Vault, which follows women in different stages of pregnancy. Each poem is coupled with a piece of art, and Fischer showed these art pieces as she read each of her poems aloud. By reciting poems from the weeks after conception in chronological order, Fischer told a vivid story saturated with imagery and emotion.
The next to share her work was Michelle Hoover. Hoover shared an extended passage from her fiction novel, The Quickening, which originated from a memoir written by her great-grandmother about her farm lifestyle. Set in the early 1900s, it tells the story of two female neighbors, who struggle with their work on the farm. The lyrical style and representation of women who lived very different lives from modern women appealed to the audience’s senses and left a deep impression, letting the images sit without explanation.
Following Hoover’s work were excerpts from three different plays of Masha Obolensky: first Marvelous Fruit, then The Bluebeard Project, and lastly Girls Play. Students from Wheaton read several roles from each play for the audience, from scripts provided. Although they were simply cold reading, their voices tinged with emotion as the events of the scripts unfolded. Because Obolensky writes for the stage and focuses on the energy between the actors, she says that the audience has to see everything played out in order to better understand her plays, despite the vivid manner in which one can imagine the actions of the voice actors.
The evening concluded with a panel discussion with all three writers who answered questions about their literary works, inspirations, and experiences.
Categories: Arts and Culture