All Posts, Student Readers

Cora Boyd

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Drawing by Julia Taylor

Cora Boyd is a junior at Tulane with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in psychology.

She read nonfiction at our March 11th reading.

Below is an excerpt from her piece, “At First I Was Afraid. Then I Was Petrified.”

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 Photography by Andres Neidl

“La Dolce Vita. The sweet life. This is how I have come to refer to the elusive enigma that is at the core of what I want out of life. La Dolce Vita is made up of moments that stand alone as ravishing and also come together to create a whole that is beyond splendor. Kind of like the sequins of a New Year’s Eve dress or kind of like the little mirrored pieces on a disco ball. In La Dolce Vita one can move through experiences without remorse or second-guessing or fearing patterns, and yet one also appreciates each experience and learns from it all that can be learned. In La Dolce Vita, the drawstring of your ex-boyfriend’s pajama pants that you have tied to your backpack does not strike a whimpering pathetic chord in your mushy heart (you hoarder, you).

La Dolce Vita is most palpable just before the sun goes down, when the air produces that golden crepuscular light that is thick with the promise of the night. The quality of light that reminds you of a Langston Hughes poem and makes you want to listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and eat strawberries on a veranda. La Dolce Vita is produced where superficiality best compliments profundity: at the intersection of a cup of coffee, a pair of underwear in your back pocket, and boarding a long distance bus.”

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All Posts, Featured Readers

Chelsey Johnson

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Chelsey Johnson was the Featured Reader for our event on Tuesday, March 11th. Chelsey Johnson received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One
StoryPloughshares, NPR‘sSelected Shorts, The Rumpus, OUT Magazine, and others. She teaches fiction and nonfiction writing at the College of William & Mary and is at work on a collection of stories and a novel. We got a lovely preview of her novel-in-progress and can’t wait to get a copy when it comes out!

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Drawings by Julia Taylor

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Photography by Andres Neidl

 

 

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All Posts, Student Readers

Connor Crawford

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Photography by Andres Neidl

Connor Crawford is a senior at Tulane University and is a Spanish major.

He read fiction at our February 4th event. Below is an excerpt from his piece “St. Nick’s Bar & Grill”
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Drawings by Julia Taylor

Dale cherished the moments at the end of the night when he could just lie in bed and focus all the energy he had left on using one foot to scratch the athlete’s foot on his other foot and vice versa. It felt so good, toenails rubbing the flaky skin away until they reached the tender itchy part. He had bought a nine-dollar can of ointment spray about a week ago but hadn’t used it yet. He didn’t want to.

It was about six-thirty in the morning by the time Dale finally fell asleep. His girlfriend Daisy had left for work at her bakery an hour or so earlier.

He slept until it was five o’clock the following afternoon. His head throbbed and immediately he leaned over and got a cigarette out of his blue jeans on the floor next to the bed. He lit it and lay there smoking in bed for a while. Then he got up, and walked naked to the kitchen to make coffee and toast.

Dale lived alone in a gutted-out building. Daisy slept over a lot because it was closer to her bakery than her bungalow across town. Rent was cheap and he had tons of space. He sequestered his bedroom by hanging canvas drop cloths between old work ladders, left-behind items from a painting business that used to occupy the building. Besides this, the rest of the place was wide open. The side that faced the street was completely glass, and since it faced west, when Dale woke up in the late afternoons like this — as he almost always did — the entire space would fill with a warm dusty natural light. Right along the exposed brick wall perpendicular to this glass was where he had jimmied together a makeshift kitchen, which consisted of a deep work sink, an old stovetop and a series of mini fridges. He kept his microwave and coffee pot on the floor.

Dale had one table in the whole place. It was a white door stacked on top of piles of cinder blocks. In the holes of the cinderblocks he had stuffed magazines and newspapers and all around the desk were stacked books and CD’s, and lines of records leaned against the nearby wall. His old turntable and an ashtray and some notes here and there were the only items on the desk.

Dale reached into one of his refrigerators and fished a pickle out of a jar with his thumb and forefinger. He ate it quickly, then grabbed another one and went and watched the street go by while he waited for his coffee to brew. It was the beginning of rush hour and traffic was sluggish. The power lines that hung above the cars appeared wavy through the building’s old glass. There were plenty of bikers and pedestrians about, as well. All of these commuters were ending their long days at the office, ready to go home and watch TV, eat dinner and maybe try to get laid. Lots of them would also likely end up at a bar.

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