Several talented writers read aloud from their work at the Wordstock festival this past weekend. However, I can safely say that few, if any, were as entertaining and authentic as the WITS student readers. On Sunday morning at the OEA stage, an audience of fifty people watched as the words on the pages of the 2008-2009 WITS Anthology A Whole New Subject came alive.
We’ve all experienced those disappointing events where the writer sounds detached, as though reading from someone else’s book. But these students, including Courtney Bliss (interviewed in this post), Sabrina Ruiz, Talisha Jackson, Christina Boom, Reuben Cottingham, Tessa Bolsover, Miles Shepard, and Elie Hoover, were the real thing. They even gave us a preview of work from the upcoming WITS anthology, Take My Hand, I Want to Show You Something, that will be released in December.
I had read A Whole New Subject prior to the reading, but watching the students not only read, but own their words, was awesome. There were conversations with absent parents, God, past loves, and a sneaky shoe. (And I will never look at a Manwich® sloppy joe the same.) The students were poised and honest, their highly crafted pieces capturing sincere and often raw emotions. In short, they were inspiring, and I’m excited to attend more student readings in the future.
WITS End-of-Residency Readings: Wilson High School
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Attend Writers in the Schools (WITS) end-of-residency community readings, featuring public high…
Omar El Akkad and Ed Skoog: Northwest Academy Reading
March 1, 2018
Omar El Akkad and Ed Skoog
Poets on Broadway: Jane Wong & Shayla Lawson
March 12, 2018
Literary Arts and Portland’5 Centers for the Arts are partnering to present…
March 16, 2018
Orlando White is from Tólikan, Arizona. He is Diné of the Naaneesht’ézhi…
Everybody Reads 2018
April 5, 2018
In partnership with Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, Literary Arts is…
April 26, 2018
Come celebrate Portland’s creative youth during our seventh annual Verselandia! poetry slam.