I'm a writer because I have stage fright.
This post is a little late, but I wanted to tell you all about an exciting reading I attended November 19. It was a special event—hosted by Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)—known as New Voices. Like the Fair Use readings, it is a series for young and emerging writers who want to read their work aloud to an audience.
There were four writers total, given roughly five minutes to read their work.
Nicole Koneck-Wilwerding began with her funny short story, appropriately titled “Thanksgiving”. It was a series of letters from the main character to her siblings, discussing her upcoming Thanksgiving dinner and the potential problems on the horizon. Through humor, wit, and awkward political battles, Nicole entertained us with a character that is more complex than she originally seems. It was an excellent and engaging piece.
Ashley, a representative of UNO, read next. She read a small collection of poems including “New Moon”, “She’s Human”, “Tabasco Sauce”, and others. Her poems at times were surprising, amusing, and thought-provoking. Some of her images were really interesting and strong. I enjoyed hearing Ashley’s work for the first time.
Nick, another representative for UNO, then read part of his short story “Mile Marker”. His story starts with a dead dog and has this mysterious mixed feeling of a combined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel and a Stephen King novel. I thought Nick did well with surprise and power dynamics in his piece. I really enjoyed hearing his work for the first time.
Aubree Else finished up the night with a collection of her poems. Some of them I was familiar with from the Fair Use reading like “North G Street House” and “The World Ends for a Fifth Time”. She also read some poems I was not familiar with, like “The Indian Leopard Sticks His Head Into a Pot” and “Waste Places”. I really enjoyed listening to all of them. The last one was my favorite thus far, but each one compelled me to listen and pay attention.
The New Voices readings sometimes feature graduate students, but there are often undergraduate students as well. If you have a chance to attend the next one, I’d encourage you to do so. It’s always wise to support your local writers.