Fourth-year Sheera Talpaz read six original poems for an audience gathered in the upper lounge of Rosenwald Hall Tuesday evening, at the first of three “Emerging Writers” readings presented this year by the College’s Committee on Creative Writing.
“We have a lot of lofty, Olympian poets reading here at the University of Chicago, but not a lot of young, dynamic writers,” said Srikanth Reddy, an associate professor of creative writing and self-described father of the “Emerging Writers” series.
Each of the student poets featured in this series has been selected to read his or her work in a separate competition open to all undergraduates.
Tuesday’s guest writer was Michael Earl Craig, a blacksmith from Montana and author of Can You Relax in my House (2002, Fence Books) and Yes, Master (2006, Fence Books), two collections of poetry that pay homage to his native west but, in the words of his publisher, “mutilate pastoral myths.”
Talpaz, a Comparative Literature concentrator studying English and Hebrew poetry, read from poems about love, family, and social inequality. His allusions ranged from Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.
Talpaz is currently applying to MFA programs for next year.