CMU creative writing faculty join together for last faculty reading of the year


CMU professors Matthew Roberson and Darrin Doyle sell and sign books after the faculty reading series on March 23. 

The Opperman Auditorium in the Park library was filled with people on March 23 for the last faculty reading of the year. 

The event featured Matthew Roberson and Darrin Doyle, creative writing faculty members at Central Michigan University, came together to read some of their work. 

To start it off, senior Megan Stinson introduced Doyle. They said they got to know him last semester when they took his Intro to Creative Writing class. 

“Darrin is incredibly stupidly talented,” Stinson said. “Last fall I read his book, ‘The Beast in Aisle 34,' and it was so good that in the months since I’ve had to acquire everything else he's published. I’m trying my best to not read them all at once, but it’s hard when his writing is so captivating with prose of balanced detail chosen with the utmost precision and consistently surprising and endlessly revealing emotions, so potent that I can’t get enough of… I can only hope to someday be half as good as he is.” 

Doyle read his first draft of a novella called "The Disappearing Nephew," which is an adult literacy fiction. 

“The story setup is narrated by a woman named Veronica, who goes by Ronnie," Doyle said. "... the story is largely her reflecting on a period in the late 60s and early 70s. During this period, Ronnie is in her mid 20s and living at home with her parents in Flint, Michigan. She's a few months pregnant, and the father of her child has vamoose and left her so she's living at home, working part-time at the library. 

"Her younger brother, Michael, leaves abruptly in the middle of the night without warning. He leaves a scrawled note on the refrigerator saying he's heading west, and the parents around here are, of course, worried and don't know what's happened to him."

Lydia Taylor then introduced Roberson, who had him four semesters in a row. 

“When I first met Roberson, I was in a bit of a writing slump," Taylor said. "As creatives often do, I was doubting my stories and abilities as a writer. I stressed and I stressed over my first story for Intro to Creative Writing, but I really didn't need to because Matt Roberson can see things in students' writing that they can't always see in themselves."

Roberson read two of his short fiction pieces that are coming out for publication in journals. He said they are depressing, day-in-the-life stories that he's been "drawn into" writing about.

“The first is about an older man who refuses to face some sort of loss, the second is also about, and from the point of view, of an older man suffering from a cognitive decline,” Roberson said. 

Roberson said the second story that he read to the audience was to play with the language. 

When it comes to inspiration in writing, Doyle said he gets his inspiration from observations, other writers and playing with language.  

At the end of the event, Doyle and Roberson sold and signed copies of their novels. 

Jeniya Dabish, a senior at CMU, said she came to the event because she was required to come for her classes before, but now she enjoys coming to them. 

“It’s a nice place to hear writing from people who are teaching me how to write,” Dabish said. “It’s interesting to hear their own writing because they're reading my writing.”