By Cassie Osvatics 

Three MFA professors read from their most recent publications as part of the Writers Here and Now series, beginning with Joshua Weiner and his poetry collection “Berlin Notebook.” The event took place Wednesday night in Tawes’ Ulrich Recital Hall.

Weiner started off not with a poem from the collection, but instead a new poem titled “When the Night Came” written for his late brother-in-law who passed away this past winter. Weiner said the title of the poem came from an Irish song “Donegal Danny,” which he said has great sentimental value between his wife and her late brother.

Weiner then read a poem from his collection, the title of which he left unnamed to the audience. The poem was a travel narrative that transported the audience into the life of the poem’s speaker.

Next was fiction writer Howard Norman. Norman was set to read from his newest novel, “My Darling Detective,” published last month. However, he took the leap of reading from a novel that is still in the works.

Norman labeled this novel a “ghost first person” because it is from the point of view of someone who has already died and is now reflecting. His reading was funny, witty and left me wanting to read more of his work.

Fiction writer and professor, Howard Norman, reads from a novel currently in the works at the Writers Here and Now faculty reading. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)

He gave the audience a portion of the novel in which the main character is leaving for Amsterdam, and the tension of leaving his wife and all the chaos that ensues once he arrives in his hotel. His reading created so much tension that I was disappointed when he finished the passage.

Poet Elizabeth Arnold, my personal favorite from the reading, closed out the evening with poems from her collection “Skeleton Coast,” which was released in January. Arnold said the collection began with her writing poems about someone she met online and labeled “sociopath.”

Poet and professor, Elizabeth Arnold, reads from her most recent collection “Skeleton Coast” at the Writers Here and Now faculty reading. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)

Arnold read roughly eight poems from her collection, including “Cat Bird,” “I Saw it in Her Eyes, Her Grief,” “He,” a poem she noted was about the sociopath, “I Look Into His Eyes” and “Two Rivers.” I was incredibly intrigued by the way she read and her ability to connect with the audience. Her reading was moving, and as a poet myself, this inspired me to write as soon as I left the reading.

Writers Here and Now series has one more event left for the year, the student prize reading, which will take place May 3 in the Ulrich Recital Hall.

Featured Photo Credit: Poet and professor, Joshua Weiner, reads from his most recent collection “Berlin Notebook” at the Writers Here and Now faculty reading. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)

Cassie Osvatics is a senior English major and can be reached at

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