By Emma Pratt
City College’s Creative Writing program hosted its first Spring semester monthly Lit Night on Feb. 13. Readers and listeners alike gathered at the Ocean Ale House to sip on brews and enjoy poetry, fiction, and nonfiction literature, delivered verbally from author to audience.
“It’s a lowkey event, close to campus, anybody can come and read. There’s food and drink, and it’s a way to kind of extend what we do in the classroom in a very kind of non-structured, loose way, so that’s what it’s about for us,” said John Isles, an instructor in the English department.
The night saw 10 readers take the stage. Some came with printed scripts while others decided on the spot to handle the mic.
“I’ve read here before, usually something very carefully prepared, although I’m always somewhat spontaneous because I think that’s the only way you develop a report with your audience. I think it’s important they think about what you’re saying,” said Lyman Dave Roberts, a former City College film student.
However, creative writing instructors encourage students to participate in future Spring 2023 Lit Night’s.
“This was the first reading of the semester. Usually, the first readings are a little quieter than later ones because we have to build up some steam. Honestly, I was hoping for more creative writing classes to show up tonight and so we’re going to really push to have more of the students come for next time,” said Isles.
In the past, Lit Night has been themed. Readers were expected to explore topics such as guilt, redemption, and betrayal. This semester, things are different. “In the past we have had themes but we decided to begin not to have themes just because we wanted to get the ball rolling and see what happens,” said Isles. “That could change depending on what people really want to do.”
If you don’t want to be tied down to a theme, this semester is the time to read. Plus, “It’s a really easy crowd to read for,” said Susana Ferrer, a regular at Ocean Ale House.
Lit Night will be hosted every second Monday of the month during the Spring 2023 semester from 7-8:30 p.m. Ocean Ale House opens its doors especially for the event and it’s only a seven-minute walk from campus.
For more details, email English department member Chanté McCormick , or explore the Lit Night website at litnight.org.