Our Class

Our Class

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rachel Frank and Andrea Ruben's Papers

By Rachael Franks

              Her deep, scratchy voice penetrated the silent room before she even took a sip of coffee. Linda Gregg assumed a stool up front, ignoring the podium brought out for her.  She did not wait for a question, not needing the guidance. With her first words, she revealed the seed to her poetry. Gregg announced something unexpectedly simple.  The seed is “The most memorable part of your day.” For most of us, this will be that beautiful tree by the parking lot or the humorous encounter with a coworker, nothing extraordinary but enough to capture a space in our memory. In Gregg’s poetry, this concept is executed perfectly. Her poems are not overly sensationalized where you “lose the thing you want to write about” as Gregg says, but hold enough depth to carry the poem.

              Gregg spoke on many topics, often relying on examples she quickly spun off to demonstrate her point rather than insufficient explanations. Yet, perhaps what was most noticeable about Gregg’s visit was her genuineness. Poetry is her life; she is not just “fooling around” as she stated. This is evident in the respect she has for her craft, going so far as to say that poems have rights. A poem has its own journey to take and therefore as Gregg states, censorship has no place in writing. By altering poetry for fear of offending the reader, a poem’s integrity is lost.

Respect for her craft was not only shown through Gregg’s words, but also her appearance. Purposely dressed in grey and black, Gregg tries to “not notice” herself and not become a distraction so more focus can be paid to her writing. She is secondary to her work.

                Such dedication takes a great driving force and Linda Gregg has found it in her own work. She is continually learning, discovering and uncovering facets of her world when she writes and it is that “magic” that has filled her life. It is this idea that lends itself to become the standard of good poetry, a topic heavily debated. Good poetry inspires the reader and reveals their world in a new way, regardless of topic, form or word count. Gregg’s poems encompass both of these ideals and therefore embody “good poetry.” Yet, even more as a writer, Gregg hopes to make her readers understand that all of us “are more amazing than we know.” She hopes her poems show readers just how fantastic our world and their life is and can be. I think she has done just that.


Nicole Krauss Visit

By Andrea Rubens

It was one of the first really nice days of spring on campus and everyone was loving the weather. I walked over to the Effroymson Center and grabbed some snacks and took a seat.  Nicole Krauss was given a brief introduction and as she walked to the front of the room, you could feel her calm energy. Without hesitation she approached the podium in the front of the small room of students and members of the community wearing her red vest with interesting gold geometric patterns, holding a bottle of water in hand. She simply asked, “Okay. So who has a question?” and it began.

In her book History of Love, Krauss uses very unique and developed characters to tell a story. When asked about how she creates and develops these characters she simply answers, “I just always follow instinct”. Referring to The History of Love and its characters, Krauss says the development and characterization of Alma and Leo came from her realizing that she had empathy for the characters and the writing came out of her questioning herself:  “Why do I have empathy for Alma and Leo?”.

The History of Love centers on Leo Gursky, a WWII refugee from Poland who currently resides in New York. Krauss has often been referenced as a “3rd Generation Holocaust Survivor” having a close relation to the Holocaust through family members’ experiences. She does not agree with that or associate herself with that generalization. She says, “My existence stemmed from that event. I think of my life as existing in the aftermath.” In terms of her writing Krauss says, “I think dramatically. The aftermath of a catastrophic loss or event is interesting because it has to do with the characters as survivors. In terms of Leo’s character [in The History of Love] his imagination lets him recreate the situation in his life.”

            In terms of her writing style and the process of writing a novel Krauss says, “It’s a lot of trial and error. It’s only though allowing myself to go through the liberties of what my instincts suggest.”

No comments:

Post a Comment