Thursday, April 30, 2017 at 7 p.m., the English Department at Colgate University and Flour and Salt Bakery presented “Writers Out Loud,” an intimate and exciting event that showcased the talents of creative writers on Colgate’s campus.
Writers Out Loud was the fourth in Flour and Salt’s evening event series called “Flour and Salt Sessions.” The bakery aims to bring a variety of event opportunities to the community, not just events that focus solely on music. It is a fantastic effort to expand the art and writing scene in the surrounding Colgate community and to help students find a place to express themselves and fit in.
Students from multiple class years passionately performed their works in front of an audience that completely filled the inside of Flour and Salt Bakery. The turnout was amazing, and it was the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together in a comfortable setting to hear the powerful voices of those who love the art of writing.
Alumna Britty Buonocore ’12, MA ’13 taught middle- and high-school English for two years after graduating from Colgate. She is now the owner of Flour and Salt Bakery.
“I was an English major and Creative Writing student at Colgate so this event was very much driven by how I would have loved to have been a part of something like this as a student,” Buonocore said.
Sophomore Kate Bussey read a fictional story about baseball. It was a narrative that provided a glimpse inside the lives of some young athletes.
“Events like these are opportunities to enjoy and learn from the talents of my peers,” Bussey said.
Professor Greg Ames, Associate Professor of English at Colgate, coordinated the event. Ames is thankful that Buonocore provided a venue for this latest installment of the Creative Writing program’s reading series.
“This was a full team effort,” Ames said. “Everybody was involved in making this happen – Professor in Humanities and English, Peter Balakian, Associate Professor of English Jennifer Brice, Assistant Professor of English CJ Hauser and our two O’Connor Fellows, Erin Mullikan and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. We’re excited about the work our creative writing students are doing. We want to provide more opportunities for them to share their work with each other and with the community.”
Fifteen readers in total performed their works, an average of two works per person, with a brief intermission. Pieces ranged from sentimental to amusing to serious, each reflecting the writers’ souls and showcasing their creativity.
“The lineup was arbitrary, but I tried to make sure we alternated between the three genres – fiction, poetry and nonfiction. I felt it was important to open the reading with a dynamic poet. We picked Regine Cooper, and she crushed it. She kicked the night off perfectly. Everything fell into place after her. Then Caroline Hurwitz blew us away with a nonfiction piece, and Kate Bussey followed after her with a great short story, and so on. All of the readers, all fifteen of them, were impressive,” Ames said.
Flour and Salt debuted their Barge-style, seven-layer bar at the event, which looked delicious.
“We have hosted a few events before, and they were successful, but we’ve never had a venue like Flour and Salt Bakery. It’s the perfect place for a reading, and we’re hoping to do it again soon,” Ames said.
There is no better time to have a communal and easily-accessible space to gather.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to utilize the Flour and Salt space as a community gathering-place and not just a food service restaurant. We’re
trying to encourage village residents and Colgate students to come together for these kinds of events, whether they be centered around readings, music, etc.,” Buonocore said.
The Creative Writing program is already an amazing academic facet of Colgate, but the Writers Out Loud series further expands the presence of the English department among the student body. Writing and creative thought are vital parts of life and the student experience, and Colgate is lucky to have Ames spearhead events like this.
“Every semester, talented writers pass through our workshops. Some of them publish in the Portfolio, but many don’t send their work out for publication. This reading series, Writers Out Loud, will be a good way for them to get the recognition they deserve,” Ames said.