Blue Light Reading Series

March 23, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – March 24, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
Indiana Memorial Union IMU Gallery
Blue Light Reading Series @ Indiana Memorial Union IMU Gallery

Blue Light Reading Series
Sponsored by Indiana Review, Union Board, the IU Arts and Humanities Council, IU Press, and the IU English Department

The eighth annual Blue Light Reading Series will take place the weekend of March 23 & 24. This year’s readers are Jennifer Givhan, author of three poetry collections including the forthcoming Girl with Death Mask (IU Press, 2018); sociologist, essayist, and poet Eve Ewing; and IU professor of creative writing Brando Skyhorse, who is a memoirist and novelist.

Friday March 23 at 7 pm WORKSHOP
The Blue Light Workshops, in which our three readers will offer generative writing prompts on a variety of subjects.

Saturday, March 24 8 pm READING
The Bishop Bar
123 S Walnut Ave

Featuring Jennifer Givhan, Eve Ewing, and Brando Skyhorse.Join us in downtown Bloomington, Indiana for a dynamic evening of readings featuring Jennifer Givhan, Eve Ewing, and Brando Skyhorse. A Q & A hosted by Canvas Creative Arts Magazine will follow the event. Copies of our readers’ books will be available for sale, including GIRL WITH DEATH MASK by Jennifer Givhan, winner of the 2017 IR / IU Press Blue Light Books Prize.

Jennifer Givhan
In my drafts I tend to write the same beating heart over and over. Cheryl Strayed calls it the “second heart” and writes about getting down on the floor to pull this second heart from one’s chest onto the page. I think of The Two Fridas, each with a heart, one broken. This workshop is for those of us with a broken second heart that continually needs to be excised onto the page. For those poets, like me, who write the same poem again and again and are looking for ways to transform that trauma (or “mythic wound” as Tony Hoagland calls it) and create new, fresh, exciting work where in the past our flood subjects may have made our work a bit stale. Exercises will help identify our flood subjects or bottom wells of creativity.

Eve Ewing
Love poems are often some of the most well-known, familiar, and accessible poems in popular culture– and, perhaps as a result, are some of the most derided and cliched. What does it take to actually write a decent love poem? How can we expand our understanding of what love is, what it looks like, and what kinds of love are worthy of memorializing in poetry? In this workshop, we will read poems that push the boundaries of how we think about the notion of love and love poetry, and draw on our own personal stories to write a love poem. In the process, we will hone our ability to write poems of all kinds that draw on the particularities of life in order to create a vivid experience for a reader. We might even learn a thing or two about our own hearts in the process.

Brando Skyhorse
“I Finished My Novel, Now What?”
You finished a first draft of your manuscript. Congratulations! Now it’s time to revise your book. Editing and revision can help you see your plot in a different way so you can discover what your story is about. This revision process starts with the first draft (which will now become your second draft, then your third draft, etc.) and continues until the manuscript’s ready to send to an agent. This revision process can take weeks, months, sometimes even years. You only get one shot at introducing your work to an agent. Most books don’t sell because they weren’t ready to be shown to others. Don’t let that happen to you. So how do you begin? We’ll discuss a 21 point checklist on what to do once you have a complete first draft (be it short story or novel) plus we’ll write sample agent query letter pitches based on the novel you’re writing or aspiring to write.

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