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Wellspring Literary Series showcases Mount Pleasant, area authors monthly at Art Reach

The sounds of poetry, music and applause echo throughout the Art Reach Center in downtown Mount Pleasant at the beginning of every month.

Today, the second of several monthly readings will take place as a part of the Wellspring Literary Series, an English department-sponsored event.

Robert Fanning, assistant professor of English language and literature, organized the yearlong program with the intent of showcasing successful local authors and poets.

“The idea behind Wellspring is to bring in local and regional talent to Mount Pleasant,” he said. “There are so many great writers in Michigan and in nearby states.”

If You Go • What: Wellspring Literary Series • When: 7 p.m. today • Where: Art Reach Center, 319 S. University Ave.

The reading starts at 7 p.m. Future events take place on the first Monday of each month, except on conflicting holidays. The series runs through May 2010.

Eric Togersen

In September, the forum attracted Detroit author and poet Vievee Francis. This month, Mount Pleasant resident Eric Torgersen is the featured writer.

Torgersen is a retired English professor who taught creative writing at Central Michigan University for 38 years. He has written poetry, fiction and essays.

“I miss the students, and I know that, at this reading, I’ll see some of them,” he said.

Joe Kane is one of those former students.

“I had Eric Torgersen as a professor at CMU before he retired,” the Lakeport English graduate assistant said. “I feel honored to open for him.”

CMU graduate students also are selected to present their works each month. Like Kane will today, Tawas City English graduate assistant Jennifer Anderson delivered several poems to the Wellspring audience Sept. 14.

Anderson said she was impressed with the atmosphere of the forum when she was there. The Art Reach Center, 319 S. University Ave., is a century-old church that she described as the perfect place for literary readings.

“The building that the readings are held in is an old chapel, which allows for beautiful acoustics and nice surroundings,” she said.

Live music

Music also is a component of the readings.

Livonia senior Josh Graham will be the featured musician at the October forum. He will play the marimba, a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone except in size and sound.

“I’m excited that Professor Fanning is starting this event,” Graham said. “I began to play the marimba when I was around 16, and study percussion at CMU.”

Fanning said he hopes the series will continue to attract students who otherwise may not be completely familiar with the downtown scene.

“The idea is to build bridges between students and Mount Pleasant,” he said.