Story Week at Columbia College Chicago, pt 1

A room of generous people, lavish with their words, though precise, all of them attentive to turns of phrase, metaphors, and descriptions and dialogue and little slices of character as expressed in five to seven minutes of reading.  Students and teachers, each one accepting parts of the label emerging writer, gather and clap for their friends who stand behind the podium stammering and then flowing and for their professors who seem used to the space and the art and for that newly published novelist whose work is being read as if for the first time to a hungry audience of well-wishers.  Then there is Sapphire, the bold poet whose voice stood up in the written form of a novel she said people forgot they didn’t like, and who reminded me that writers could be activists or not but that all writers needed to be good, and who remembered some of the greats by going down a notable list of influences that read like a canon because it included folks like Richard Wright and Lucille Clifton and Sonia Sanchez.

Sapphire signing books

Sapphire signing books

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