Help fund an Inter-Generational Poetry event in Northwest Ohio

Though I love my hometown, it’s not exactly known as a literary place. Sure, Toledo is the birthplace of authors like Millie Benson, but it can be incredibly difficult as a young woman to find a literary community to fit into.

That’s why, at the end of last year, two Toledo-area women started the Women Unbound reading series, which is dedicated to showcasing female writers and artists in the Toledo, Northwest Ohio, and Southeast Michigan area. Their events are every two months, and the most recent was in February.

Their next event, which will take place in April, is an intergenerational poetry reading that will feature the work of women from 9 to 99. Lorraine and Kayla, who started Women Unbound, want to take this reading a little further and present the work of each reader in a chapbook to be given free to people who attend the reading.

Please help Women Unbound raise money for printing, promotions, and more via their campaign at GoFundMe.

You can watch Lorraine and Kayla performing their own poetry from the December event here:

Reading Surge

With my completion of the very difficult (for me) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and a discussion with some of my future classmates about our recently-read books, I realized how very far behind I am in the 100 Books Challenge.  More than halfway through the year, and I’m still in the 30s!  (Mansfield Park made 33.)

With that in mind, I now know how desperately I need to get cracking on my reading list.  I know I should be reading more than I have been, especially since I’m going to school in the fall, but work this summer has really not been helpful to my summer reading, and I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I should immersed in my books.

So instead of going to the library to fill up on “junk” books — grabbing every young adult novel in sight, as I normally do — I’ve decided to do something different.

I’m going through my own personal library and rediscovering books I haven’t touched in ages.

The first three books on my Rediscovering list:

  1. The Great Wing by Louis A. Tartaglia.  I received this book when I was in grade school and we read it as a class.  The book is a parable based on the migration of a flock of geese.  It really is a beautiful book — at least, that’s how I remember it.  Honestly, I should probably re-read it before making judgments.
  2. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang.  This is the book on which I wrote my Honors thesis while at the University of Toledo, which I did during my second year of college.  You can read more about the book here, since it’s much too complicated for a brief summary here on this blog, but the book had a huge impact on my life and the way I thought of myself, since I’m half Asian-American and half European-American.
  3. Dread by Ai.  I’m not a huge poetry person; I really enjoy writing it, but I don’t usually go out of my way to find a poet.  Ai’s work is totally different for me.  For some reason, I fell in love with Ai, especially the collection Dread.  It’s terribly sad and very dark, but somehow still beyond beautiful.

I’m reading these three books this week, though by the time you read this I’ll probably have at least one of them done.  All of them are under 150 pages, with the actual play portion of M. Butterfly under 100 pages, and I’m definitely familiar enough with M. Butterfly to zip through it.

After I finish these, I plan to read a few other books: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, loaned to me by my boyfriend; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which I haven’t touched since high school; Legend by Marie Lu; Erin Morgenstern’s beautiful novel The Night Circus; and, naturally, the entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.  Brave New World is the only one I’ve never read, and the rest will all be re-read.

Threaded throughout the re-reads, I’ll be making an attempt at Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  I know it’s very strange I haven’t read it yet, but — like Mansfield Park — I was always for some reason unable to make my way through it.

Do you have any book recommendations?

30 September: Current Progress

It’s the end of September, and you know what that means – time for the monthly update!

This month, there was a lot going on in terms of planning for the UT Writer’s Guild, so I didn’t make much progress on most of my larger projects.  However, I did make a lot of progress at my writing job, which I feel is pretty good – right?

In the most recent (September 26) print issue of UT News, five of my stories were printed:

There are several other things I’ve been part of, as well!  The Writer’s Guild recently co-sponsored a poetry reading event for Banned Books Week at UT.  UTWG will have its next meeting Friday, October 7 at 5 p.m. in Student Union Room 3016 on UT’s Main Campus.

I feel like I got so much accomplished this month, even if I really didn’t do much at all… I’m still working on the following projects:

  • The Final Experiment (editing)
  • The Rules (on hold)
  • …and a couple other things

From now until December, though, I’ll be concentrating on preparing for and writing my National Novel Writing Month project, tentatively titled “Victorious.”  Check back soon to learn more about this project!

UTWG and The Mill to co-host poetry reading

The UT Writer’s Guild and The Mill literary magazine will host a Banned Books Week poetry reading Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. in Room 2240 of the Field House on the University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

The featured poet at the event is Zach Fishel, a graduate student at UT.

The reading, presented in open mic format, will also feature The Mill editor in chief Peter Faziani and UTWG president Michael Beers reading their own work.

Several other students will read at the event as well, including members of the UT Writer’s Guild.

Banned Books Week 2011Banned Books Week is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association to raise awareness of books banned and challenged in schools and libraries. Banned Books Week encourages the sharing of literature and ideas between and among groups.

Contact UTWG vice president Feliza Casano (feliza [dot] casano [at] rockets [dot] utoledo [dot] edu) for more information or to sign up to read.  You may also contact Feliza for more information about the UT Writer’s Guild.


UTWG sponsoring Poetry in the Park

The University of Toledo Writer’s Guild is sponsoring a poetry reading and social event called Poetry in the Park Friday, September 23 at Wildwood Metropark.

The brown-bag event is free and open to all University students.

At the event, students are invited to bring at least one poem to read: either a poem they wrote or a poem by their favorite author.

Poetry in the Park will take place at 5 p.m.   Interested students can meet the group in the Student Union South Lounge between 4 and 4:30 p.m. to carpool over.  On-campus students who do not have cars are encouraged to meet UTWG officers there.

Attending students do not need to bring a poem, particularly students not registered as UTWG members, but are certainly encouraged to do so.

To learn more about the event, contact UTWG vice president Feliza Casano at feliza [dot] casano [at] rockets [dot] utoledo [dot] edu.

More information:

The University of Toledo Writer’s Guild is a student organization of the University of Toledo dedicated to helping students develop their writing, network with others with similar interests, and provide new opportunities for student writers.