Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Remember, no class on Friday: instead, you can go to the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Here's a link to the schedule for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:

You can go to 1 or 2 sessions for extra credit. But for each one you go to, make sure to answer the following 4 questions (just like our blog responses, except you have to do all 4!) in a short paragraph--a few sentences each. As long as you give a thoughtful, honest response, I can excuse 2 absences or 2 missed blog responses--or 4/4 if you do a good job on two. But remember, this is extra credit, so if you just give me hasty, one-sentence responses or try to BS about sessions you didn't attend, I can't give you credit. 


Q1: Which of the authors interested you the most and why? Why did you respond their poems and/or story and why might you read more from this author?

Q2: Which piece (if any) did you find difficult to follow or understand and why? Is is simply not your kind of material, or was it too vulgar, or depressing, or confusing? 

If you liked all the pieces you heard by each writer, answer this instead: how did each author's reading work together as a whole? Why did these 3 (or 4) writers work well together? Was there any common themes or ideas that seemed to link them together?

Q3: Discuss briefly how the authors presented their material: their reading style, introductions, gestures, and other details that helped you appreciate the stories/poems. In other words, how did the authors help you understand their work through their performance?

Q4: How did the audience react to these authors/works? Did certain works get more response than others--and if so, why? Did people laugh? Were they completely silent. Did people seem to 'get' these writers, or did some leave them scratching their heads? How could you tell? 

Hope to see you at the Festival! 


  1. 1. I have to admit, J.C. Mahan was pretty interesting. He has a sharp sense of humor and his poetry was pretty casual. He also wasn't afraid to veer into more adult topics, and handled them well, though it was a little long for my taste. He's pretty sarcastic and I appreciate that, I really do. He also read his poetry really casually, it was kind of hard to tell if he was reading a poem or commentating sometimes.

    2. Mahan's poem, well, I think it was something along the lines of "Love Machine", was a bit difficult to follow. Not because it was complicated. No the metaphor was pretty clear. The whole poem was about how he would 'furrow the (read; 'my', but I'm 99.9% sure he was 'speaking' his wife) fertile fields real good'. Most everyone laughed, especially at first. It went on a little long for my tastes and became uncomfortable, but luckily it ended shortly after that point. Definitely a dirty sense of humor.

    3. Katherine Hoerth and Chera Hammons both tended to use a more 'theatrical' voice for their poetry. It was clear when they were reading and when they were speaking. Hoerth was a bit more dramatic, fitting the revitalized take on greek mythology she often used than Chera, who used smaller subjects for her work. Her own experiences and humorous takes on small towns that no one really stops by, but drive through. Mahan spoke exactly like his poetry. A slight drawl and casual ease, which I realized fit his voice but did make it hard for us to know when to clap.

    4. The audience as a whole clapped more for Hoerth and Hammons. Usually, if there wasn't applause, then it was because they moved on so fast from the poem that there wasn't time. Mahan got more laughter than the other two and almost no clapping, which I think was because of how he read. It was damn near impossible to tell when he was finished reading and when he was just commentating. All three authors were pretty understandable, or at the very least, I didn't notice any confusion. Not a bad session, but rather unexpected.

    Kenia Starry

  2. Session one
    Q1: Sally Rhoades was interesting to me, her broad topic choices for her poems intrigued me. Her poems ranged from nature to the relationship with her mother then finally to feminist pieces. Before this I generally thought that poets kept to a limited area, that they don’t venture into new things. I liked her nature and family poems best, her mount joe poem was very pleasing to me.
    Q2: The poem that Sally made about her aunt Polly really upset me. Changing such a classic and innocent tune about America’s past time and adding an inappropriate word (penis) seems pretty disrespectful to me. Now I am officially scarred, I cannot repeat that song without thinking of that word there.
    Q3: Generally, Sally just read her material in the prose that she had written it to be said. She didn’t have any grand gestures or a booming voice but she did have a weird pink hat. She wore this hat on certain poems that come with a certain theme or message. If her words weren’t clear enough then the hat was.
    Q4: I didn’t pay that much attention to the rest of the audience, but I remember that they all clapped respectfully at the end of each poem or story. I was very confused and baffled by the remixed baseball sing, I didn’t look around to see the reactions of other but I assume that several people had similar expressions.

    Session two
    Q1: I really liked Juan Perez, I found him to be very funny. I thought he was hilarious, he made parodies of Dr. suess and how the Grinch stole Christmas, theories on how the cubs won the world series, and multiple poems involving the cupacabra and zombies.
    Q2: I didn’t really understand the one about how the cubs won the series, since I don’t really watch that much baseball. He also mentioned a curse but I didn’t get that either and I know that before the win the cubs had like a 100-year drought on winning it. He also incorporated Spanish into his poems as well, which I don’t understand. Because I don’t know Spanish.
    Q3: Juan was very big on body gestures, waving his arms and such. He also changed his voice when needed, like when he read his zombie poems he sounded like a zombie. This was very helpful in understanding who was speaking as well as when he said something in Spanish.
    Q4: I wasn’t the only one who thought Juan was very funny, there was some people who have heard him before. As far as I can tell no one seemed to be offended by what he said or not laughed at his jokes. But I had to leave before he finished so I can’t say that with 100% accuracy.

  3. Q1. Jennifer Kidney was the most interesting speaker in my opinion. She talked a lot about animals which I found interesting because I love animals myself.
    Q2. Most of her poems were easy to follow and understand. She didn't use any vulgar scenes or language. Some of her poems could've been depressing to some audience.
    Q3. She makes it clear to understand as she tells background on each poem before she begins the poem. She also dressed as if it went along with her poems. She dressed with braids and wore a jean jacket as she told about animals and outdoors.
    Q4. The audience seemed to understand all her poems. "Why I hate opera" and "mockingbirds" seemed to get the most attention as the whole audience was laughing.