Brief Review 9/14/19 Event

Five on Fiction, Part One

Matthew Kirkpatrick reads first from his novel The Ambrose J. and Vivian T. Seagrave Museum of 20th Century American Art. Just in time for Spooky Month this new novel weaves family history, art curation and collection, and a non-corporeal love affair. In Saturday’s reading, Kirkpatrick introduces the premise of the work, and the characters with witty understatement. However difficult it is to read short excerpts from a novel in fifteen to twenty minutes, (perhaps it is a less daunting task to read from flash-fiction or short stories,) Kirkpatrick definitely made me want to read more.

Luckily for me, this text is on my reading list this fall for Community Outreach 550, with Prof. Hume. A second plus, I have the benefit of being a student of this author this fall in my Graduate Studies Creative Writing Workshop. You can bet I will be asking if he will sign my copy of his book!

One interesting detail about the form and structure of this text is the form of the Didactic. The fictitious donors, the Seagrave family, who are founders of the museum, lost their daughter Kendall Seagrave, on a nearby lake. So there is mystery and also profound loss. Kirkpatrick’s decision to utilize didactics allows the details of artistic process to become part of the narrative.

What are didactics, you might ask? In the world of museum curation and art collection, this genre is well-known.

Those small plaques, or labels in some museums, are posted adjacent to the art-work relaying a bite-sized informational profile about the art work. Usually the dates of creation, title, acquisition details and materials are part of this form.

I am one of those people who lean in close to read every word on the didactics, sometimes before experiencing the art work itself. Apparently Kirkpatrick, a devoted fan of abstract expressionism and contemporary art, especially of painters such as Mark Rothko, is also equally obsessed.

This device grounds a wide-parabola of topics and a gallery-sized story arc encompassing art, history, and a love affair with a disembodied entity (#ghost)

I am looking forward to reading The Ambrose J. and Vivian T. Seagrave Museum of 20th Century American Art and invite you to read it too. Your comments are welcome.



Reviews and Postscripts

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Five on Fiction: At a Glance

On a brilliant sunny autumn afternoon, I attended a special reading at the Student Center Auditorium. Five authors with current or past affiliations with the Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University read selections from recent works of Fiction. Here’s the scoop:

Date of Event: September 14, 2019

Curated by: Professor Christine Hume

The event’s title is taken from emeritus faculty Janet Kauffman’s manifesto on fiction writing, Five on Fiction, (Burning Deck Press, 2004.)

Authors and Books, in the order of appearance:

Matt Kirkpatrick: The Ambrose J. and Vivian T. Seagrave Museum of 20th Century American Art (Acre Books, 2019.)

Polly Rosenwaike: Look How Happy I’m Making You (Doubleday, 2019)

Amanda Goldblatt: Hard Mouth (Counterpoint, 2019) 

Joe Sacksteder: Make/Shift (Sarabande Books, 2019)

Christina Milletti: Choke Box (University of Massachusetts Press, 2019.)

These extraordinary, funny and intriguing texts were brought to vivid performance by the authors.

The collection of masterful authors and their recent works, all published within this year, had a profound effect on me, a still-green MA Student. For more detail about my responses, read Brief Review (to be posted next.)

Until next time,

Warm Regards from Christina-Marie

Community Outreach

Recent Community Outreach Projects include our Evening of Performance & Poetry at Cultivate Coffee and Tap House, Ypsilanti. Christina-Marie curated a team of musical artists, dance artists and poets and we gathered together in the tent in the Beer Garden for an unforgettable evening.

Thanks to all the artists, the audience, Cultivate and First Fridays for a lovely event.

We hope to perform at First Fridays Ypsilanti again in the Spring!

current and Upcoming Events

  • I’m excited to join forces with many regional and local dancers February 28th in the Seventh Annual Bollywood Bash
  • This on-line showcase will benefit Sanctum House – a residential rehabilitation facility for female victims of trafficking.
  • Geeked to announce that my flash-fiction story Ruckus at the Farm Stand will be published March 27 by an indie literary journal: Sad Girls Club.
  • Also I’m graduating (again) Watch this space for news about my project subLIMINAL which will be included in EMU’s MA Thesis Showcase.
    (Likely on-line from April 20-31st 2021.)

    My thoughts about this development…

    I’m excited to share that I am concluding my Master of Arts Course of Study at EMU. After teaching for 9 years in the Music and Dance Program as a Part-time Faculty member, I switched departments in 2019 to return to study. This time focusing on literary art-making. I have loved my journey into Literature, Poetry, Poetics. And of course, writing! Along the way, I got to study Women’s and Gender Studies, Visual Art and Pedagogy. Since Pedagogy is a research interest, and I’ve presented work on holistic student learning outcomes, applying my previous teaching experience to undergraduate student writing, instead of dance-making, was an interesting challenge.

    I’ve enjoyed a wonderful two years with the dynamic, multi-disciplinary faculty of Creative Writing. Housed in the Department of English Language and Literature, in the Pray-Harrold building, the program HQ is right across from the dance studio digs in the Warner Building. Across campus, but a whole discipline over. It’s been a fabulous immersion experience for me.

    I’ve enjoyed teaching Composition I: Writing the College Experience and Composition II: Researching the Public Experience within the First Year Writing Program. I have enjoyed each and every Writing Workshop, gaining the opportunity to study with amazing poets, novelists, and essayist with national and international reputations. Carla Harryman, Rob Halpern, Christine Hume, and Matt Kirkpatrick, who is serving -kindly- as my Thesis Project Advisor.