Nadia Bolz-Weber was the fourth visiting writer to come this semester. Nadia is a preacher for House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Nadia wrote a memoir entitled Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint. When I first thought about going to her presentation, I did not know what to expect. Nadia is very famous among the church community and since we are a Lutheran college I would assume there would be a lot of people coming. She gave her presentation in P.E Monroe auditorium. The last time someone gave a presentation in the auditorium, it was Nicholas Sparks. So, since it was in P.E Monroe I decided to go to find out who she was. At 6:30 the whole front section was full. After listening to her interview in Eng 281 that also influenced my decision to go. Nadia isn’t your ordinary pastor, she has tattoos and curses. Before becoming a pastor Nadia was the wild child. Before the presentation started the person introducing her said please refrain from texting and using your cell phone as it can be distracting to others. Nadia came out and said,” I don’t mind if you tweet or facebook”, this was very funny to me. Now, I was ready to listen to her speak. Nadia read an excerpt from her book Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint. As she read I was really engaged in listening to her read. She also read something from her new book. In the book she talked about her being in a rehab facility and trying to get help. It was a very interesting piece and it made me want to go buy her book. I specifically remember her talking about the story in Matthew about the man possessed on the mountain and the pigs drowning in the lake as she opened up the chapter she was reading. Overall, this was one of the best presentations that I have seen and I really enjoyed hearing her speak and would like to buy one of her books.
Paul muldoon is the third visiting writer this year to come speak. There was supposed to be a convocation but it may have been cancelled due the snow we had. Instead of writing about his presentation i will be focusing on his poem “Hedgehog”.
When I first read “Hedgehog”, I did not know what to think. At first, just because of the title I thought it would be weird. It wasn’t a bad poem. I liked it. The poem starts out talking about a snail moving like a hovercraft. He says “Sharing its secret with the hedgehog”, I don’t know what the secret is that the hedgehog shares. I want to know what it is too. The hedgehog is very secretive so he doesn’t share his secret with anyone it goes on to say. Paul Muldoon writes, ” come out of yourself and we will love you.” He is wanting the hedgehog to not be scared and secretive but be open and share its secret. He tries to comfort the hedgehog. The hedgehog doesn’t budge and doesn’t share its secret with him. That’s a very good hedgehog. I wouldn’t share my secret either. He then compares the hedgehogs quills to the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on his head. That was an interesting comparison. Overall I really enjoyed reading this poem.
Katherine Howe Visiting Writer Series
Katherine Howe was the second visiting writer to come to Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2015 for the Visiting Writers Series. She is also the visiting writer who is staying and teaching for the semester this year on campus. She teaches a writing and reading class. Before the Visiting Writing Series, I did not know who she was at all. I was surprised to hear that she was teaching a class here on campus. I was excited to hear speak because after reading an excerpt from her in class, I found out that she liked witches and stuff like that. I thought that it was pretty cool. I thought that she was going to be pretty interesting when she gave her presentation. She did a really great job. I was very interested in listening to her speak.
Before she started speaking she gave a brief run through of how she was going to do her presentation. She started off by reading from her book Conversion. This was a very interesting piece. She then talked about how she got inspired to write this book from the house she lived in. She lived in a really old house near Salem, Massachusetts. I believe she lives in Morehead if I am not mistaken. She said that Morehead is pretty much like the New Salem with black cats, and just witchy stuff like palm reading and tarot card places. I think it would pretty cool to visit that place. Next she talked to us about a new book she was writing. She read an excerpt from that and it sounded pretty interesting. I would love to read her book Conversion or the new one that she is writing when it comes out.
Jesmyn Ward VWS
Jesmyn Ward was invited to come speak to the Lenoir-Rhyne students January 19th, 2015 as part of the Visiting Writers Series 2014-2015. Before I took creative writing, I didn’t know who she was. When we read an excerpt from her book Salvage the Bones, that made me really interested in going to the reading and hear her talk about the books she wrote and about her life. I thought that she gave a great presentation. She did sound kind of shy at first but then she warmed up. She started off by talking to us about what she would talk about throughout the presentation.
She first read an excerpt from Salvage the Bones. During this section of the book, Esch and her family’s house was flooding. They had to go up to the attic but the water got to the attic and was rising fast so they had to climb out of the attic. I think they may have swam to get to her dads truck because the waters had swept it up. I wanted her to continue reading.
The next thing she talked about was her history. She talked about how she lost her brother, cousin and close friends over the course of 5 years. She told us about how she sent her book to publisher after publisher until one person said yes. Then she proceeded to read something from her memoir, Men We Reaped. Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and thought she was amazing. I could not imagine going through what she has and then writing about it.