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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Words in the Library


Growing creative writing series starts 2017 strong

The city of Davis rarely fails to impress with its commitment to art, music and other related fields, and the Creative Writers Series exemplifies such commitment. Hosted in the Shields Library, the event ushers in writers, pushing the avant-garde, to exhibit their coming work. The events are scattered throughout the year, but anyone attending these readings can expect to gain insight on storytelling and the Creative Writing Department at UC Davis.

Greg Glazner, the current event manager and a professor of English at UC Davis, talked about the event and what it shows of Davis.

“There’s really a lot of interest in writing at UC Davis,” Glazner said. “The room that we have the event in is always full […] People really do turn out and it’s really gratifying to see that.”

Each event is separated into two components: the reading and a Q&A portion.

“It’s very engaging,” Glazner said. “There is always a Q&A, that’s always part of what we do, and there are always aspiring writers in the audience, a lot of them UC Davis creative writing students.”

Each event shows the multifaceted nature of creative writing through its display of many different writers. There are a variety of genres and works displayed, giving attendees a well-rounded perspective of the field.

“All the events are so different from each other,” Glazner said. “So far we’ve had Danez Smith, who is an incredible performer of his poetry […] then we had the quiet-spoken Tommy Orange, who read from his novel, and the writing was so compelling he had everyone on the edge of their seat. I don’t think there is one specific way it’s going to be, they’re all kind of different from each other.”

“The writing was really incredible, and I basically cried the whole time,” said Madeline Bigger, a second-year English major who attended the Nov. 14 reading by Tommy Orange. “The event shows good things about Davis. I’m hoping there are more.”

Melissa Mack, a recent writer at the series, spoke beforehand about which pieces she chooses for a reading.

“Every time I do a reading it’s different,” Mack said. “I really like to share new work. It’s kind of a way of feeling on how I feel on the work, to read it to an audience. But this time I have a book coming out; I’ll likely read mostly from that.”

Mack further mentioned how the environment and her audience affects what excerpts she will read from.

“One thing I will think about is reading pieces that I think will translate, you know, things people can enter into when hearing it just one time,” Mack said.

Mack, an alumna of the Creative Writing master’s program at UC Davis, is familiar with Davis and commented on the significance of this event.

“It’s really exciting that there is a creative writing series at Davis,” Mack said. “It’s been a while; I graduated from Davis in 2010, so the vibe of the school may be very different now, but the fact that there is still a creative writing series makes me think that there is still an interest in language art. That makes me happy.”

On Jan. 16, poet Mai Der Vang will be presenting. If you like creative writing or poetry, mark your calendars for the always-interesting Creative Writing Series.


Written by: Nicolas Rago — arts@theaggie.org


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