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Jesmyn Ward to read TUESDAY 3/3/15

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Afton Wilky

Our last event of the 2013-2014 series was on Tuesday, May 6th.
We were excited to have Afton Wilky as our featured reader. Here is a short bio from her site:
Afton Wilky is a multi-disciplinary artist—painter, poet, she works with digital media, and is a book artist. She is the author of Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea (Flim Forum Press, Feb 2014) and her work is in or forthcoming from journals such as Black Warrior Review, LITMagInkNode, EOAGH, textsound, Word for/Word, and Jacket2. She is the Managing Editor of The Volta.
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Below is a video of Wilky reading from Clarity Speaks
of a Crystal Sea. It was the perfect reading to close out an exciting year for 1718!
Below is an excerpt from Wilky’s site on Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea. Visit the hyperlink to read more.
“Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea asks what would happen if we allowed visual and auditory connections space to develop, extend and accrue. This extension and accrual is a narrative in and of itself while the trajectory and transformation of linguistic characters becomes character. The project borrows language; cuts and refolds it; bodies; it bodies; it requires more than one mouth; more than one pair of eyes; it becomes language with a visible shadow.”
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Above is the 1718 faculty advisor, Shelly Taylor, and the directors of the past academic year. The 1718 directors were the student readers that evening. Erin Little (Director of Student Readers) read nonfiction, Lauren Smith (Director of Publicity) read fiction, and Sarah Monsen (Director of Featured Readers) read nonfiction.
We had complimentary copies of Roux, our compilation of the works of this season’s student readers, available after the reading. Pictured above is the front and back cover,
designed by Ashley-Vosmera Mitchell.
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Thomas Beller


1718 was excited to have Thomas Beller read on Tuesday, April 1st.

Thomas Beller is the author of two books of fiction, Seduction Theory, and The Sleep-Over Artist, and a collection of personal essays, How To Be a Man. He co-founded and was, for twenty years, co-editor of Open City Magazine and Books, and founded and continues to publish Mr.Beller’s Neighborhood. Beller attended Vassar College (BA), and Columbia University (MFA). His short stories, essays, and reportage have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The New York TimesVoguePloughsharesThe Southwest ReviewSlateGuernica, and Salon. Quite recently, a selection from Beller’s book, The Sleep-Over Artist, was featured on This American Life. He likes to play basketball and sometimes writes about it. He divides his time between New York and New Orleans, where he teaches writing at Tulane University. His newest book, a biography of J.D. Salinger titled The Escape Artist, is now available.

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He read some new work––an excerpt of fiction and a humorous nonfiction essay––for us.


Photography by Julia Taylor


Above are some of Beller’s older works that were sold by the wonderful Maple Street Books after the reading.

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Cora Boyd


Drawing by Julia Taylor

Cora Boyd is a junior at Tulane with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in psychology.

She read nonfiction at our March 11th reading.

Below is an excerpt from her piece, “At First I Was Afraid. Then I Was Petrified.”


“La Dolce Vita. The sweet life. This is how I have come to refer to the elusive enigma that is at the core of what I want out of life. La Dolce Vita is made up of moments that stand alone as ravishing and also come together to create a whole that is beyond splendor. Kind of like the sequins of a New Year’s Eve dress or kind of like the little mirrored pieces on a disco ball. In La Dolce Vita one can move through experiences without remorse or second-guessing or fearing patterns, and yet one also appreciates each experience and learns from it all that can be learned. In La Dolce Vita, the drawstring of your ex-boyfriend’s pajama pants that you have tied to your backpack does not strike a whimpering pathetic chord in your mushy heart (you hoarder, you).

La Dolce Vita is most palpable just before the sun goes down, when the air produces that golden crepuscular light that is thick with the promise of the night. The quality of light that reminds you of a Langston Hughes poem and makes you want to listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and eat strawberries on a veranda. La Dolce Vita is produced where superficiality best compliments profundity: at the intersection of a cup of coffee, a pair of underwear in your back pocket, and boarding a long distance bus.”