Renowned suspense novelist Stephen King and award-winning poet Eileen Myles gave a joint reading at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series 2016-2017. The writers were introduced by professor of creative writing Emeritus Joyce Carol Oates and professor of creative writing Susan Wheeler, respectively.
“We invited both of these writers because they do something in their genres that no one else does,” Michael Dickman, a lecturer in the Creative Writing department, said. “They read on the same day by happenstance in their schedules, but it was a great combination.”
Dickman aided in organizing the talk.
Myles read a selection of her older works as well as an excerpt from her current project “Afterglow.” King followed with two excerpts from his upcoming novel Sleeping Beauties, which he co-wrote with his son Owen King.
“To tell a really good story is what is most important to me,” King said. “I think writers decide what they really think by codifying their thoughts in words.”
“It’s very interesting to see an author speak in person. With athletes or actors you directly see the person doing their work, but when an author creates art I have a bond with that art piece and not necessarily the actual person,” Jacob Sweetow ’20 said. “It was cool to bridge that gap and unveil the real Stephen King.”
“It was really awesome seeing Tracy K. Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and Eileen Myles in the same room,” said Destiny Salter ’20.
Salter also noted that the difference between the various speakers contributed to her enthusiasm for the event.
“What struck me is the number of people at the reading today, and that’s what we want for every reading in the series,” Dickman added. “Whether you know them or not, the other writers in the series are just as dynamic and exciting.”
The next reading in the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series will consist of University student readings and will take place on Dec. 14, at 5 p.m. in the Chancellor Green Rotunda.