Meijer Visiting Writer Series brings fiction author to Baber Room

Author Noy Holland smiles to the crowd before her reading on Oct. 20 in the Barber Room of the Park Library.

About 40 people gathered Thursday night in the Baber Room in the Charles V. Park Library to hear fiction writer Noy Holland read from her most recent novel Bird. 

Holland was brought to Central Michigan University as a part of the Meijer Visiting Writers Series.

Professor Matthew Roberson started the event off by introducing Holland and giving some background on her work. With sharing his details of friendship with Holland, he also gave thanks to the Meijer Foundation which is the source of funding for the Meijer Visiting Writers Series. 

Holland began the night by jumping in to a story, her words spewing out with hardly any breaths taken in between. In the next moments, she would give background and insight on the short stories she read. 

They all seemed to relate to her life in one way or another. Stories that involve uncanny things like a ‘donkey’ were mentioned and she revealed that it had been inspired from a conversation she overheard one day.  

Her stories varied by genre and tone. She could read a line that would one minute have the audience hushed and the next, laughing.

Mount Pleasant junior Kerigan Williams came to the event because she’s a creative writing major but ended up getting more out of it than expected.

“It is just something different,” Williams said. “(Attending readings) allows you to look at the world in a different way, and to see what other people are seeing because it’s not analytical and it’s not journalism. it’s not what you’re used to.”

Holland dove into the process of her writing by taking a simplistic stance on it. 

“Best way to be as a writer is not know what you’re doing,” she said. 

She kept stressing the idea of how creating a story is like making more messes and having to clean it up. 

Towards the end of the event, she took questions from the audience and allowed them to ask about her writing process and their own work.

Another creative writing major, Bloomfield Hills senior Emma Lazarus, said she felt there was an importance to hearing a writer's work from the mouth of the author.

“I just kept thinking about how different it is to hear someone read something versus reading it on the page.” Lazarus said. “When you’re reading it on the page, you can make more sense of what is going on, you have an easier time of figuring out who is saying what. I thought it was interesting to hear (her work) read aloud and piece things together more myself.”

Mika Yamamoto, administrative assistant of the Meijer Visiting Writers Series, said she was pleased with the turnout. Even students who were not creative writing majors could have gained something from this event, she said.

"You don’t understand how wonderful it is (and) you can’t explain it until you experience it," Yamamoto said. "It’s an hour of your time, but you leave changed and how often does that happen? You’re inspired you see the world differently, you see life differently.”


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Editor-in-Chief Emma Dale is a junior from Grand Haven double majoring in journalism and political ...

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