>As usual, we started with a scholars reading: Greg Downs, Marie Manilla and Ron Riekki. Although Greg and Marie were very good, we’ll all remember Ron’s reading because he was so emotional that he had to have someone else step up to the podium to read the end of his story for him. His story dealt with the Gulf War; the lesson I learned was that a writer really needs to tap into his deepest feelings in order to be honest. Ron was honest.
Next was Eliot Schrefer (whose story featured a jerk named Cliff, which I teased Eliot about), Jim Tomlinson (who claimed he was nervous but did a masterful job in his reading of a very dark story from his collection), and Catherine Tufariello, whose poetry was delightful.
Then we had Lee Blessing give a craft lecture on playwriting, which was great. He concluded by reading a scene from his prize winning “A Body of Water.”
We had workshop in the afternoon followed by a reading by Lily Tuck. She read from The News from Paraguay and a new non-fiction book. In the reception afterwords I was able to talk to her a little, especially about her novel Siam, which I liked very much.
The evening reading was by Mary Jo Salter–poetry that uses images from life (postcards, photographs) to create long lasting perspectives.