Yesterday was my last class of grad school. The lovely Heather McHugh sent me off into the world with a smile, my mind abuzz with the possibilities of language. Each class session was a two hour walk in her mind, and what a mind it is! It was one of the few times where I feel I really learned through osmosis.
Anyways, we closed out the term with an ingenious event at the swanky Sorrento Hotel thought up by some young fellow at The Stranger. Rather than accepting the normal model of the public reading where literary genius is bestowed upon the audience by the author’s voice, a group gathers to read good works—silently, to themselves!
I spent some time with Louise Glück’s latest book, A Village Life, and Fady Joudah’s, The Earth in the Attic. I’ve read both before, but I liked the idea of connecting the grandness of the space with a lineage I care about (Glück selected Joudah’s book for the Yale prize, and Judah’s book has taught me a lot about ordering a ms.). Plus, I needed a break from Levis as I still have a bit to go on my thesis.
I indulged in good beverage and food, and most importantly, the good company of strangers and friends who had something to say to the world. Reading is important! Books are our friends! (or something like that). Sure, there was some chatter, but the general hush of the room felt special. There was a certain reverence in the room and, ensured by my proximity to Heather, a good and necessary peppering of irreverence, too.