Local writers were given the chance to showcase their talents by reading their creative works at the city’s second Writers Night.
Hilary Smith organized the event hosted by the InterAction Children’s Theatre. The gathering catered to about a dozen spectators to poetry, short stories and lyrics from many of the city’s talented writers.
The voice of Saint John Radio’s show, “Mood Swings,” Clyde Wray, was among the artists to present his poetry. One the poems that Wray wrote was dedicated to his daughter, titled with the name of her teddy bear. UNBSJ’s own Darryl Sequeira read some of his whimsical poetry and Blake Ferris read his passionate poems featuring a girl named Katie.
Ferris, who started out as a songwriter, turned to poetry after taking a class at UNBSJ. He has been writing ever since and decided to read his work in public for the first time after hearing about Writers Night on Facebook. “[I] thought it might be a good way to get some experience reading in public,” says Ferris, “maybe [getting] some feedback on my work, as well as […] an idea of what other writers in the city are up to.” Ferris enjoyed the event and would like to take part in future gatherings, “[Writers Night] is a great idea,” he says, “I’d do it again just for the sake of supporting and taking part in the local arts scene.”
One of the most enjoyed pieces of the night was a narrative from a new Saint John resident about an experience with a trashy couple in the Service New Brunswick line up. Olivia Koven, a third year student at UNBSJ particularly liked this piece, “I feel like the speaker created a very honest, unglamorous image of day to day life,” she says, “Most people try to romanticise the situation, but he stayed true to the story and I think that shows a kind of integrity in a writer.”
Just under $100 was raised from the five dollar cover charge and the sale of refreshments. The money will help the InterAction Children’s Theatre Company to pay for their new building at 218 Germaine St.
Smith was pleased with the event, “I was really happy to see people there sharing their work, especially people who were reading for the first time.” she says, “Writing is such a solitary activity sometimes, and it is so great to be able to share your work with other people for a change.”
Koven enjoyed herself and says she would go to the next Writers Night, which Smith hopes will be scheduled sometime in the winter. “It seems like writers are looking for a place to hear and be heard in a public setting,” says Smith, “I really hope we have another one. I think we’re aiming for January, so people should keep an eye out.”
“I really enjoyed it,” says Koven, “there was a lot of variety, something for everyone.” If you are interested in attending a future event, or have questions about Writers Night, contact Hilary Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.