designed by: Lauren Savoie
Chandler Allen is a senior English/Writing major at Loyola. He read original fiction at our first reading on September 1st. Here is an excerpt from the piece he read, “Blue Road to Houses:
“I had my first séance two nights ago. To be honest it wasn’t a true-blue séance, no phantasms were summoned. The procedure was completely different, involving less spiritual contact and more weed.
I was inside an abandoned white barn perched in the middle of a green-tipped field that rolled forth endlessly in all directions. As the sun dipped under the horizon some twilight leaked through the barn windows and coated the straw-covered ground in a soft golden aura.
I was in the hinterlands of Asheville, North Carolina visiting my friend Faye. She was in her final year of school at Warren Wilson. Faye introduced me to Kyle upon my arrivial. Kyle was her new boyfriend who rode mountain bikes and made electronic music. I was indifferent to him; Faye’s boyfriends never had the tendency to last long.
After the séance we climbed the ladder hanging off the west wall of the barn. The climb was treacherous. The ladder had shaky footholds and hidden splinters lurking about its frame. A single lamp that hung from the ceiling provided the only source of light. As soon as Faye yanked its beaded chain the whole second story was smothered in black. I tiptoed around the bales of hay and made my way to the top of the pyramid of straw where Kyle and Faye were laying side-by-side, murmuring secrets to one other.
The hash clouded my mind. I swore I was inside the belly of some primordial whale navigating its way through the dark catacombs of some distant ocean floor. As we, it’s hapless passengers, could only stare up in awe at the innards of the leviathan that carried us through time and space. The light coming through the windows was a deep blue now, the kind a sailor might see from a submarine’s porthole. I was in a splintered state—each region of my body immersed in a different sensation—my mind working hard to fight off that causeless apprehension; trying to summon a courage that was distant, as though it belonged to a past life.
“Can you imagine this place one hundred years ago?” Faye said, “All of those people living and working in this barn, not complaining, doing what they were told? Happy with what they had?” Faye’s voice was a whisper, as if she sought to preserve the delicate silence that filled the room.
She painted a dream for Kyle and I. She talked of the world those workers lived in, carting barrels of straw to and fro into big primitive trucks that whisked their labors off to some faraway farm. I sank deep into my bale of straw, forgetting myself, forgetting my fears, remembering people who aren’t alive now; who may not have existed at all.”
- Submissions committee will help sort through and pick student submissions.
- Publicity committee will help with all publicity related aspects of 1718: twitter, facebook, blog, flyers, et cetera.
- Events committee will help plan an organize all 1718 related events.
Chloe Matera is a junior English/Film & Digital Media major at Loyola. She read original fiction at our first reading on September 1st. Here is an excerpt from the piece she read:
“So even in a place like New York City, a city that never sleeps, I find myself walking into my bedroom from the balcony, crawling into bed and letting the enveloping waves of suspended consciousness wash over me…
And I’m awake. Entirely awake but not just awake.
I am alert.
My dreams transported me out of reality or so I thought. It felt so real. The figure hovering over me. Its cold breath on my neck. The mumbled whispers emanating from its blue-lipped mouth. Instinctively, I reach for the handgun in my bedside table drawer, grasp it between my fingers, gently caress the safety. I check the room with a quick scan of the eyes and ears before I turn on the small lamp near my bed and check the time.
I venture to the rest of the house, checking my corners, ceilings, everywhere, because something felt off about the figure in my dream.
A kind off-ness that makes me think it was more of a nightmare.
I step into Constantine’s room. Once I know she is sleeping soundly in her bed I feel the tension roll off my body. I return to my own bed and lie awake staring at the ceiling. I decide now that it is necessary to see the doctor Constantine recommended to me. These nightmares were getting a little out of control. I wouldn’t bother if they were a once in a while thing but as of late it seems like I cannot close my eyes without having one. And the realness of them… I still don’t see what good the doctor is going to do but I suppose I have to give it a shot.
Ironically enough he, or she, will probably recommend more sleep.”
Rebecca Morgan Frank was our first featured reader of this season and was a joy to hear read aloud. She read for us on September 3rd, 2013 from her new poetry collection, Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon 2012). Little Murders Everywhere was a finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.
Here is a lovely portion of a review of the collection by Deborah Bennet, which appeared in The Tottenville Review.
“The poems in Rebecca Morgan Frank’s debut collection Little Murders Everywhere bring to mind the former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s assertion that all poetry is meant to be read out loud, to be savored on the tongue. The words spill forth in a tumble of image, idea and sound, offering multi-layered pleasures. Even as we recoil from the gruesome reality of animal dissection or the grotesque self-mutilation in a carnival act, we cannot help but delight in the irregular music of layered sound. And if we are honest with ourselves, we cannot help but press our noses close to the glass of the spectacles depicted in clear-eyed terms.”