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Getting right into the topic at hand, I confess I’ve never been to a poetry slam. Just watched a couple on Youtube, while chewing on some junk food. With passionate gestures and a loud voice, a lot of them talk about what grabs their goat.

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That’s the magic of our current age: if you so desire, you don’t have to see anything live again. But be that as it may, performance through a screen is just not the same. You cannot feel the audience and stage heat, and these passionate people you do not get to meet. So come on down and jam, and welcome to the SLAM!

The 5th Annual WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! will be held on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 from 5:00–7:00 PM at the Snite Museum of Art.

The WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM!  is a poetry competition at the University of Notre Dame that, although relatively young, was instantly a classic from its onset, among both locals and people from across the U.S. The talent, the emotion and the artistry can only be paralleled with the congenial yet competitive atmosphere that is unique to the WHAM! BAM! POETRY SLAM! In these trying times, come together with your Notre Dame family and celebrate art, poetry, and the people who make it all come alive.

This slam will consist of three rounds, all poets performing in the first and second rounds. The finalists will compete in the final round to become South Bend royalty. The winner will be announced at the end of the night, by judges picked at random from the audience.

Join us for this truly once-a-year experience!

Open mic starts at 5 PM.

SACRIFICIAL POET

Hayley Flynn, the president of Spoken Word ND, is a sophomore English major and German minor who hopes to be a novelist and creative writing professor.  She loves Tarantino movies, Virginia Woolf, and mac n cheese.

SLAMMERS

Pam Blair, known as Poetic Melody when with her poetry family, is a born artist, who didn’t find her love for poetry until later in life. Poetry has become her life’s journal in metaphoric pieces of expression. Her motto is to I.P.M.C. Inspire, Provoke, Motivate to Create.

Sylvia Ciocca, a sophomore English and Management Consulting major and the Vice President of Spoken Word ND, has dreamed of becoming a touring spoken word poet since her early high school days. Upon graduation, she wishes to work at a consulting job in NYC while writing and performing her poetry at night, in hopes of avoiding the starving artist lifestyle. Her favorite quote is from an Andrea Gibson poem, and inspires her daily: “A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, ‘So does God, that’s why you can see the Grand Canyon from the moon.’”

Jesse Camper is a senior Business student at Indiana University South Bend from Chicago who sparked his first interest in poetry at the ripe age of 13 years old. Since then he has won many awards, including the 1st place prize of last year’s Wham Bam Poetry Slam and two time 1st place winner of IUSB Apollo night. Outside of poetry and school, he loves to go out with friends to the bar and frequently enjoys binge watching almost anything on Netflix.

Trevor Canty: First-Year. Recovering coffee addict.

Spencer Clark French is a sophomore college student of Theology and Literature who loves long walks on the beach and low-lit hipster coffee bars. He has long hair, maintains a healthy love for old Twenty One Pilots, and is a semi-professional word-sayer. He also writes a weekly blog that you can find via his Instagram: @spencerclarkfrench. Check it out, or don’t. He doesn’t care. It’s not like he wrote this bio.

Angelle Henderson is a first year student reigning from New Orleans, LA. She began writing poetry when she felt silenced by the world around her and writing was the only way people would listen. Her silent and shy persona was never compromised by the screams of her poems. Her poems reflect who she is, what she’s been through, what she’s witnessed, and where she’s going. She hopes you enjoy who she is, but even if you don’t, that won’t stop her from screaming from the mountain tops.

Maya Jain is a senior Theology major who is very grateful for the chance to participate in her first poetry slam! When she’s not pondering the big questions of life or formulating opinions on social justice issues, she loves singing, playing tuba, drawing and painting, and laughing really, really loudly.

Aaron Moe used to despise English literature until he was an undergrad at college where he read Shelley, decided to major in English, and never looked back. He lives in Mishawaka with his family and teaches at Saint Mary’s College.

Katie Scherzinger is a Gryffindor and a Libra. You might think writing is what she loves most in the world, but her true passion is taking stealthy pictures of dogs on campus for her friends to enjoy via Snapchat story.

Charles Terry partners with students and leaders to create energizing performance art. Charles’s hope for humanity is that performance art will empower students and leaders to critically engage communities.

These are the facts. We have survived the first quarter of this year. Some people would call the time period we currently occupy ‘Spring.’ Yet the Winter cold refuses to leave us, clings and slashes with windy hooks. What have we done to deserve this? Is it the narcissist, human-centric idea that draws ire? Is it Indiana? Or is it just everything that we dumped and keep pumping into the land, ocean, and atmosphere?

But enough moping. You’ve been officially invited to the second MFA candidate reading event of this semester! Congratulations, because this is a truly rare opportunity that less than 100 out of 7.5 billion people will get to enjoy. Come dressed in your best or worst. It’s time to forget the repercussions of sapient action and inaction. Or relive them, through the words of our writers who aren’t afraid of a little cold.

Abigail Burns, Madison McCartha and Daniel Tharp will read their poetry and prose on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Andrews Auditorium, Geddes Hall on Notre Dame’s campus. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Abigail Burns earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 where she studied English literature, creative writing, and rhetoric. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Entropy(b)OINK zineMicrofiction Monday, and Longridge Review. She works with South Bend’s LGBTQ Center, continues Matt Pelkey’s ImagineND program and reads for The Notre Dame Review. Abby’s writing primarily focuses on how grief and loss work to shatter our sense of normality and is influenced by queer rhetorical theory and writers such as James Baldwin, Jeanette Winterson, and Toni Morrison.

Madison McCartha graduated from Beloit College in 2013. He won the White Howells Prose Prize, had flash-fiction published in Burrow Press, and poetry in Nightjar Review and The Pinch. At Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Madison served both as Asst. Editor and Design Editor for Cream City Review and became the Poetry Editor for Storm Cellar Quarterly. A Yield Fellow, he also serves as the Managing Editor for Yield Magazine. Poets who have influenced him include Larry Levis, Jorie Graham and Lucas de Lima among many others. Madison’s interests include horror films, affect theory, shamanism and a capacious poetry capable of housing a multiplicitous self.

Daniel Tharp attended Kirtland Community College for a year before moving half way across the country and acquired his Bachelors of Arts degree from Pittsburg State University. A teaching assistantship, over a hundred students, and two years later, Daniel graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Masters of Arts degree with emphasis in fiction. His thesis entitled “Home,” depicts a complex and brutal world where characters struggle not with outside forces but with themselves and what it means to be human.

A famous philosopher once said, “Abby, Madison, and Daniel are cool people and they write cool stuff. Cool as in not cold, because that’s the last thing we need, but in the aesthetic sense. Maybe kids these days use a different word instead of cool, because kids are wild and rad.” That philosopher is me. Come gather around the fire before I go all allegory of the cave.

I don’t know how to swim.

My early childhood at the local indoor pool instilled a fear of the burning sensation when water fills my nostrils. Even to this day I feel I must pinch my nose if I were to submerge my head below a surface. As a result, one of my fantastic fears is to discover a loved one drowning in the depths, yet being unable to aid them just because of an unpleasant formative experience. It would be as if I wasn’t able to eat a can of beans to defeat bean aliens threatening my family or refused to caress a beetle to save my friends from bug aliens.

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Yet much like heights, bodies of water remain enchanting. There is no need for a siren to call me, I just look down at them, into them. I feel like I should be there, regardless of the consequences. I need to be there.

This is my problem.

Now, how about a reading event?

Hilary Plum and Zach Savich will read Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:00 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Hilary Plum is the author of the work of nonfiction Watchfires (Rescue Press, 2016) and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (FC2, 2013). Recent prose and criticism has appeared in Full Stop, Bookforum, the Seneca Review, Poetry Northwest, the Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. With Zach Savich she edits Rescue Press’s Open Series. She lives, teaches, and edits in Philadelphia.

Zach Savich‘s fifth collection of poetry, The Orchard Green and Every Color, was published by Omnidawn in 2016, and Diving Makes the Water Deep, his memoir of cancer, teaching, and poetic friendship, was published in 2016 by Rescue Press. His work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Award, and other honors. His poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Boston Review, A Public Space, Mid-American Review, VOLT, jubilat, Best New Poets, and The New Census. He teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, and co-edits Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series.

They write like water. Formless thoughts attempt to establish themselves as something solid, like the concept of a river, a lake, or an ocean. Then they dissipate, as it is their nature, leaving a rippling impression, and reform themselves as another wave. An amorphous dance that is unlike and like what has been said before, reaching for a conclusion but unable to stop the current. Not until the pen (or keyboard) is dropped, the ‘death of the author.’ Perhaps that is why I am drawn to the deep. My heart and mind sense a flow that is the same but greater than their own, and manifest their desire to reunite against rationality. How little of it I possess now, eroded by the times. Keep or throw?

-Moon

How often do you write? That’s a question I would rather not answer. How do you write? Now that’s something I can tackle.

I look for things that sound odd. Listen for stuff that looks weird. The other day when I was in the airport the PA system was looking for a McKenna Reed, asking them to come to the water fixture to meet their father. Two things struck me-

  1. Why not just call it a water fountain? Is it against airport law to call a fountain a fountain? Were they trying to impress their supervisor or coworkers?
  2. I wished I was McKenna Reed because it’s been awhile since I’ve seen my own father.

Thus the announcement made it into my little black book, along with the time I had spread olive oil on a pan in the shape of the USA and some ruminations on the inescapable solitude our human lives made while sitting in a mostly inconsequential lecture.

That was just part one. I’m putting you to sleep, aren’t I? Perhaps this man from Bangor can do you better.

Gregory Howard will read Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:00 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Gregory Howard teaches creative writing, contemporary literature, and film studies at the University of Maine. His first novel Hospice was published by FC2 in June 2015. His fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, Harp & Altar, and Tarpaulin Sky, among other journals. Hospice follows the odd and lovely but also frightening life of Lucy, everyday neighborhoods become wonderlands where ordinary houses reveal strange inmates living together in monastic seclusion, wayward children resort to blackmail to get what they want, and hospitals seem to appear and disappear to avoid being found. Replete with the sense that something strange is about to happen at any moment, Hospice blurs the borders between the mundane and miraculous, evoking the intensity of the secret world of childhood and the distressing and absurd search for a place to call home.

In his essay The Object is Always Magic: Narrative as Collection, Howard shares his perspective on creating stories. Collecting miscellaneous oddities including a rusty saw and glass eyeballs has prepared him for the life of a writer. The mess he made created fragments and juxtapositions of objects, which are where stories are born. The collection of junk is fleshed out into literature through precision in language that surprises, strangeness that comes out of what is habit. All this is possible through the difficult act of what Howard calls paying attention.

So come on down to Hammes on the 8th of March to experience the story-making magic that hides behind every detail and fragment. If enough people show, I’ll even post part two of my experiences in writing. Maybe.

-Moon

Step right up for your favorite time of the year, excluding bedtime and time to rock. That’s right, it’s time to get up close and personal with the metaphorically hottest writers in America (or at least Indiana). These word wielders will be reading work that’s too fresh and steamy for the general public (at least for now). Have you ever wanted to be where it all happens? Well, this is going to be the center of the creative writing universe (at least for 2 hours).

Thomson Guster, Erik-John Fuhrer, Ingabirano Nintunze, and Grace Polleys will read their poetry and prose on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at Andrews Auditorium, Geddes Hall on Notre Dame’s campus. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Thomson Guster’s recent work includes THE CLONE SAGA, a distorted adaptation of the oft-derided Spider-Man storyline of the same name that explores the empty paranoia of identity, the portability of content across genres and platforms, and the limits of fan fiction; HEAT MAP #10, ‘a zine of fictional music writing composed by blind evolutionary logic that amplifies mere snags in the infostream into waveforms that threaten to crash their mode; Op, a series of poems that explore the possibilities for self-expression under deep cover; and Crunch Time, a collection of fight scenes that experiment with duration, intensity, choreography, and the limits of the visual in a textual medium.

Erik-John Fuhrer is currently a PhD student in English and a presidential fellow at Notre Dame. His work has previously appeared in The Long Island Quarterly, First Literary Review East, The Fib Review, The Shotglass Journal, and the Oxonian Review, where he was a finalist for their Third Annual Poetry Competition. Erik’s interests lie in literary boundary crossings, manifested most recently in representations of the nonhuman and transgressions between human and nonhuman subjects in modernist literature. He is inspired by hybrid forms of literary expression that elide genre boundaries as well as by quiet, lyric poetry that often achieves the same transgressions more subtly.

Ingabirano Nintunze received a B.A. in English Literature and Telecommunication from Texas A&M University. She has won the Gordone Award for undergraduate poetry and the UWC Writing Award for her short story, “A Midday Train Through Russia.” Gabi has worked as a production assistant on several professional video projects, performed as a theatre actress in Austin, Texas, and when she’s not writing words, she likes writing music to go along with them. Her writing explores urban and suburban magic, belief systems, genuine representations and romantic tragedy. She likes her protagonists average and her fantasy in excess.

Grace Polleys studied English and music at the University of Denver. Her recent work embodies the spontaneous nature of jazz as well as its chordal complexity and demands the reader’s focus to be as strong as the performer. Grace’s poetry refuses ego or narrative, and the stories it does tell are distorted and heavily coded, recalling the struggles of constructing AI that can produce creative writing and the inherent, haunting strangeness of the product.

So come one, come all. Bring an open mind and an open mouth to drink up the creative juices, and open really really wide, because there’s going to be barrels of it. Feel prose and poetry, fact and fiction, and restraint and release all get messed up in an original brew. This is the past, present, and future that you will witness before anyone else does, if you stop by at Andrews Auditorium on the 1st of March. Believe in me and my hype.

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The idea of the Renaissance man has captured my imagination since the first time I heard of it, flitting in and out of my mind every now and then during idle moments. Removes a malignant tumor in the morning and completes an oil painting of the patient by lunch. Cooks a authentic Italian pizza made with homegrown ingredients and wins every game of Scrabble. Speaks English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, German, Chinese, Algebra and Dog. Blessed with super writing and super reading! Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound!

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I’m getting there. I can jump higher than my house. If you seek the company of a polymath, just give me a decade or two. Feeling impatient? Check out our next reading.

Michael Collins will read Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:00 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Michael Collins is the author of ten works of fiction. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. His novel The Keepers of Truth was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the IMPAC Award. Other novels have won The Irish Novel of the Year, The Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Award, along with the Prix Littéraire Lucien Barrière. His short fiction has won the Pushcart Award for Best Fiction, and he is the recipient of numerous New York Times Notable Book of the Year Awards. Collins is also an ultra-runner. As captain of the Irish National 100k Team, he earned a bronze medal at the 2010 World Masters 100k Championships in Gibraltar. Notable wins include The Everest Marathon, The North Pole Marathon, The Antarctic Marathon and the Sahara Marathon. Collins was educated at The University of Notre Dame and Oxford University and holds a doctorate degree.

He’s a man that not only runs over mountains, fields of ice and snow, and dunes of sand, but miles of them with record-setting speed. With that same spirit he’s written book after book to a reception of rewards and accolades. How does he do it? What links his running and writing? Can he beat you at Scrabble? Find out on February 22.

-Moon

 

Float a boat. Wear a hat. Bloom a flower. A little origami never hurt anyone. My favorite was the frog. You would hold and release its posterior and it would jump, nothing like the amphibian it was modeled after, but it still sailed through the air and there’s no challenging that fact. What use are cranes? Being lucky doesn’t cut it when you’re in my shoes, fingers in the slits of the fortune teller. Where have they all gone? Did we bury them in the garden, in the sandbox, place them askew on the water fountain or benches with peeling green paint?

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Now paper planes are for writing on or typing on. Our digits bend words through time and fold languages. I’ve read that translation is but a crooked mirror. I’ve heard some call it a crime. If it is indeed evil, then let us be glad that gulf shall not separate these three poets of Montevideo from us.

Luis Bravo, Javier Etchevarren and Virginia Lucas will read Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:00 PM. It is free and open to the public.

There will also be a Question & Answer Session with the poets hosted by Johannes Göransson in Room 119, O’Shaughnessy Hall, at 2:00 PM on the same day.

Luis Bravo has published ten books and recordings of poetry since 1984, including Árbol Veloz, a referential work in Latin American multimedia poetry; Tamudando, a multiphonic concert recorded live at Zavala Muniz Theatre in Montevideo; Areñal /ene topos bilingües & other sounds, along with the poet John Bennett; and Lichen (bilingual Spanish-English), translated by William Blair & Pablo Rodríguez Balbontin. Bravo’s poems have been translated to English, French, Germany, Swedish, Estonian, Portuguese, and Farsi. His most recent poem published in English is “The voice”, translated by Catherine Jagoe (Drunken Boat, 2016). His most recent book of essays is Voz y palabra: historia transversal de la poesía uruguaya 1950-1973, which received an award from Uruguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture. Bravo participated as a Fellow in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2012. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame.

Javier Etchevarren is the author of the poetry books Desidia (Yaugarú, 2009), Fábula de un hombre desconsolado (Yaugarú, 2014) and Fable of an Inconsolable Man (Action Books, 2017), translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval. His poems have appeared in in the American Literary Review, the Los Angeles Review, Drunken Boat, the Notre Dame Review, the Colorado Review, and in América invertida: An Anthology of Younger Uruguayan Poets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016).

Virginia Lucas is a poet, editor, and literature professor. Her books include the poetry collections Épicas marinas (Artefato, 2004) and No es de acanto la flor en pie-dra (Lapsus, 2005). She is Literature Director of the National Office of Culture at the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture and Research Coordinator of Queer Studies Montevideo. Lucas’s Amé.RICA, translated by Jen Hofer, is forthcoming from Litmus Press. Her work also appears in Earth, Water and Sky: A Bilingual Anthology of Environmental Poetry (Dialogos Books, 2017).

Something else that I’ve learned is while people tend to focus on the distinctions between different cultures and languages, it can be more valuable to see how they are similar. To return to what is common and core for humanity and what they choose to create. Come join us on February 15th, to not only enjoy what is unique but also what we share as familiar strangers. You will become a frog.

-Moon

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Sometimes I wonder, why couldn’t I have been a fictional character? My clumsy use of English would be replaced with a language of snappy, snarky lines in response to other silvery tongues. Even if I were forced to stammer or say something foolish, at least it would have been intentional. There would be no more awkward conversations and silences – except when they’re necessary. Outwardly and inwardly, I would be glamorous. Or ugly, but “ugly” in a manner constructed to channel the sympathies of the audience. Even if I died, I would live. I would suffer for art.

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What could possibly go wrong with an existence locked behind a screen, or defined by black squiggles on white paper? Well, OK, there are certain authors whose characters I don’t envy, and one of them comes for you.

Kyle Muntz will read Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at Hammes Campus Bookstore on Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Kyle Muntz is the author of five novels: Scary People (2015, Eraserhead Press), Green Lights (2014, Civil Coping Mechanisms), VII (A Novel): The Life, Times, and Tragedy of Sir Edward William Locke the Third: Gentleman (2012, Enigmatic Ink), Sunshine in the Valley (2011, Civil Coping Mechanisms), and Voices (2010, Enigmatic Ink).  Excerpts and other pieces of his have also been published in Gone Lawn, Step Chamber, The Journal of Experimental Fiction and Fiction International. His work incorporates elements of science fiction and fantasy along with elements of the avant-garde. Muntz is interested in the literature of aesthetic and ideas. He is a game designer and writer for the character driven RPG, The Pale City.

What aesthetics and ideas inform dirty pirates, abusive relationships, accidental profundity, heart-stealing demons and existential dread? You’ll have to wait until Februrary 1 to find out. You won’t see me in that book.

-Moon

So begins a new year and a new era of reading series. How should we proceed? To move forward we must also look back at who we were and what has made us. Generations smile at each other. We stand on the shoulders of our elders but bear their weight to form an impossible human tower that still stretches out into the horizon. Once in a while, we look back and up to reaffirm these bonds, their solemn weight.

The Ernest Sandeen Memorial Reading commemorates the poet, scholar and teacher, Ernest Sandeen. A distinguished senior poet is invited to give the reading and selects a younger poet to read alongside him or her, thus honoring both Ernest Sandeen’s accomplishment as a poet and his many decades of mentorship at the University of Notre Dame. In this spirit, Claudia Rankine has invited Solmaz Sharif to read with her on Thursday, January 26, 2017, in McKenna Hall Auditorium at Notre Dame. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Additionally, there is a Q&A with Claudia Rankine at 3:30 PM on the same day, in room 100-104 McKenna Hall. Like the reading, everybody is welcome to attend and learn.

Claudia Rankine, the recipient of a 2016 MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; and numerous video collaborations. She is the editor of anthologies including The Racial imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind and America Poets in the 21st Century. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a winter fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, an NEA fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship. She has most recently been selected to receive a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. She is currently a lecturer at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, LOOK, published by Graywolf Press in 2016, is a finalist for the National Book Award.

Through reexamination of our souls, their pedestals, and the chamber they stand in, our words gain painful weight. For the sake of the future, we must carry those burdens and seek out new ways shoulder them from the old. This act of remembering will not be wishful nostalgia. Sandeen, Rankine, and Sharif will guide us like they have been guided so that we may guide others.

-Moon

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Where will you be at the end of the semester? Perhaps this an accurate portrait (give or take some hair/fur).

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But it’s not over yet. If you’re a student, you got those finals and papers keeping vigil before the new year. If you’re not, you got those not-a-student end of year ordeals. Either way, we’re all stumbling over the finish line towards the next season of this race. Fortunately, I bring something to breathe life into you (and it’s not Christmas coming early).

Taeyin ChoGlueck, Luis Lopez-Maldonado, and Tania Sarfraz will read and perform their poetry and prose on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at the Hospitality Room of Reckers on Notre Dame’s campus. The reading begins at 7:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

Taeyin ChoGlueck is the co-founder of Stage for Change, a non-profit group that puts unheard voices that question identity, inclusion, and difference on the stage. Her most recent play, The Pink Pope, is a feminist satire featuring a female God dealing with a Purgatory full of misogynistic men who reject Her, and a split church led by women on earth. Recently, Taeyin has found herself writing about menopausal super heroes, virgin ghosts, and ajummas. In her spare time, she eats up Korean webtoons (that may or may not star menopausal super heroes, virgin ghosts, ajummas, and menopausal supervirgin ajumma ghosts). Did you miss The Pink Pope? Now’s your chance to make up for it.

Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xican@ poeta, choreographer and educator. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Dance from the University of California Riverside. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Cloudbank, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University. He is a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Notre Dame, where he is poetry editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review, and founder of the men’s writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. He is also co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project and founder of Humans of The University of Notre Dame. Luis’s reading will focus on violence as performance, and explore the hybridity between poetry, choreography, and audience. His works will contain themes relating to the darkness in America we all know: the mass shootings, the racism, the sexism, the homophobism, and the hate, among others. Plan to be disturbed. Prepare to hear erotic, beautiful language. Get excited to experience the world premier of his new contemporary dance solo: Silence Is Violence.

Tania Sarfraz received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Brown University in 2014. She won the Weston Senior Prize for her short fiction collection, Betrayal & Other Stories. She recently acquired a sentient hotdog on a skateboard, but due to legal issues it remains to be seen if Tania will bring it to the reading. It is entirely possible it has been eaten already. Such is the life of a hotdog.

But forget about franks. Let us all gather to on December 7 to reflect upon 2016 and gaze towards the trials and possibilities that await us in 2017. Come hear the voices of bright minds to clear your own, or fill it with inspiration.

-Moon

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