MFA Thesis Reading at Scuppernong Books

PC: Molly Lawler

Molly Lawler
Staff Writer

Scuppernong Books is an undeniably special place; though it is arguably even more magical from seven o’clock to eight o’clock on Friday nights during The University of North Carolina at Greensboro MFA Writing Program Student Readings. On January 18, they kicked off the first of five UNCG Student Readings, which will continue every Friday night for the next five weeks (excluding February 15). Members from around the community gathered in rows of chairs in the rear room of Scuppernong Books and listened to the vibrant works of two MFA Students, Siobhan Murray and Amy Parkes.

First to read at last week’s Student Reading was Siobhan Murray, a second-year fiction candidate in the MFA Writing Program at UNC-Greensboro. Murray read an excerpt from her thesis, an unfinished novel about the adventures of a twenty-something female who moves to Turkey on a whim. From the looks of it, Murray’s novel is one full of curiosity, mystery, and spontaneity. A story about a naive and inquisitive young girl thrown into an unknown place is one destined for a lesson of self-discovery and the importance of identity. Murray’s novel is beautifully written, and her descriptions are powerful enough to mentally transport you to the exact moment she describes.

Next up was Amy Parkes, who in the next sixty minutes offered excerpts from her thesis, a collection of poems currently titled “Theory of Mirrors”, and visibly transformed the audience. Parkes is a Canadian international student in the MFA Poetry Program at UNC-Greensboro and a member of the North Carolina Writers Network. Parkes’ thesis is centered on reimagining mental health trauma and fractured personalities in language rooted in Atlantic Canada’s landscape. Her poems were raw, eloquent, and transcendent, and she so bravely presented her work from a place of vulnerability and unapologetic honesty. It is no surprise that she was awarded the Best Arts Thesis prize by Acadia University in 2017 and has poetry published in Estuary, Umbel & Panicle, The Cauldron Anthology, and the September 2018 issue of Barrelhouse Literary Magazine’s Fall of Men.

The UNCG MFA Student Reading’s are sincere, entertaining, and inspiring. Find your way to Scuppernong Books, located at 304 South Elm Street, on Friday night and share a cup of tea, a glass of wine and certainly plenty of laughter with the UNCG MFA Students and the community. The only thing stronger than the coffee, is the undeniable talent and passion for writing that each of the students so gracefully exhibits. And if a bookstore is not your usual scene on a Friday night… the after party at Emily’s might be!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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