Students Present Poetry and Short Stories at First Reading of Semester

Photo by Andrew Leight

Students packed into the Spiritual Center on Wednesday to attend a student reading put together by the creative writing program and by professors Hugh Sheehy and James Hoch. Three students were invited to read their creative works, including short stories and poems.

Senior Brian Rocha started the afternoon with two short stories he had written, “Which Floor” and “Peril.” “Which Floor” was told through the eyes of a hapless elevator operator hopelessly in love with a stranger. The story was a creative outlook on the thoughts that can come from initial introductions between people. There is very little physical interaction between the two characters except for short dialogue.  Meanwhile, we hear the man’s thoughts and wishes about this woman that he has swooned over for over a year, unbeknownst to her. 

Rocha’s second story, “Peril,” featured a narrator attending a live taping of a game show hosted by a man named Wink Wagner. After the show, the narrator sees Wink in the parking lot and decides to introduce himself. They strike up a conversation and Wink invites the narrator to his home for drinks. As the night progresses, the two slowly get more and more intoxicated, and the narrator learns more about Wink, who is depressed and heavily medicated: it is revealed that Wink has two children, each from a different marriage.

In a last ditch effort for affection, Wink kisses the narrator without his feelings of attraction being reciprocated. The narrator leaves, hearing a single gunshot ring out as he exits the house. The story touches deeply upon depression and loneliness. 

“Giving students the opportunity to read to their peers is a constructive experience because you get feedback instantaneously as you read – you hit a certain beat and you can feel it in the room,” Rocha said.

After Rocha’s short stories came Misha Choudhry, who read four of her poems. The first was titled “Dandelions” and told the story of dandelions planted by a riverside, only to be destroyed the following week by a bunch of boys playing on their ATVs. The next three were entitled “Mud,” “Desert Garden” and “Healthcare,” all of which dealt with physical beauty.

Becca Galarza concluded the event by reading six of her poems: “In Season,” “January,” “Months,” “Winter Break is Over,” “Ice Bucket Challenge” and “Transfer.” All of these poems talked about the negative side of relationships between two people: “Months” talked about the times a person gets into a relationship with a bad person, which results only in “getting high and wanting sex.”

This was the first student reading of the school year, and events like this will be occurring again later in the year.