Creative writers give senior readings

Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

Some of Baker’s creative writers gathered Sunday in McKibbin Recital Hall to give their senior readings.

The senior reading is a part of the Baker Reading Series put on by the Humanities Department. Although most are presented by outside readers, the spring reading is for the creative writers to read some their own pieces and is designed to showcase the outstanding final work of those students who have studied creative writing while at Baker, according to Assistant Professor of English Marti Mihalyi.

“The beauty of a reading is that students spend a tremendous amount of time on the sound and rhythm of their works,” Mihalyi said. “Whether in fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry, reading allows them to give voices to those pieces so that others can hear the sound quality that accompanies the meaning.”

Sound is a crucial tool for poetry writers, but student writers at Baker learn that it has a big impact on prose writing as well. All of the seniors practiced their reading to perfect the sound and rhythm in their pieces.

Although not all of the seniors who participated in the reading are creative writing majors, many of them are minors.

Senior Gunnar McKenna is a Sports Administration major, minoring in business. His interest in creative writing started his sophomore year when he took a poetry class with Mihalyi and was hooked. Since then, he has discovered a deeper appreciation for writing.

McKenna had three pieces to choose from for the reading; one was recent, written about his freckles and how he wanted them removed when he was a child.

Mihalyi enjoyed hearing from the non-majors, finding their take to be a nice addition to the reading.

“This is an unusual group of people,” Mihalyi said. “The majority of people reading did not think that they had much ability or interest in creative writing, but through taking an intro class with me their freshman or sophomore years as an extra class, they developed a real love for it and wanted to continue.”

Mihalyi has individually helped each of the writers to work to their best ability.

“It has been deeply rewarding to see how far they’ve come,” Mihayli said. “I can still look at all of them and remember their earliest works.”

As a Creative Writing minor, senior Jackie Albin was another presenter at Sunday’s reading. She read two pieces that were featured in the 2015 issue of the Watershed, Baker’s literary magazine. One of the pieces, titled  Stolen Waste, is about going out on her father’s farm and falling in love with the chaos. Her second piece, Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Sciences, is about the science building on Baker’s campus and how, although it has been renamed, students still refer to it by its old name, Mulvane.

What Albin enjoys most about creative writing is its therapeutic qualities and how it forces her to slow down and “notice the little things.” Albin believes that the senior reading is a really fun way to remember the last four years.

Albin attributes much of her passion for the field to Mihalyi.

“All students have their own voices, but Mihayli helped them strengthen their voices,” Albin said.