Monday, January 25, 2016

Florida is Not a Vacation: a Poetry Reading.


The Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida) hosts a resident author about every four months. Authors are picked by a committee that reads through over 300 submissions. Resident authors do not need to worry about room and board. They get time to strictly focus on their writing. I had sketched Kerouac House resident Ciara Shuttleworth hard at work as she crafted her poetry in the back of the Kerouac House. Besides being one of the more prolific writers, she was also one of the most social writers. She would hold court late into the night on the front porch of the bungalow with local authors and artists.

The reading on March 25, 2015 was Ciara's chance to share her poetry with Orlando literati. Visit in a authors are often surprised by Orlando's vibrant literary community. She decided to share the limelight with Florida poets that were dear friends, Sandra Simonds, and Erin Hoover. Ciara created fictionalized biographies for her friends that combined myth and heroism. These histories were worth the price of admission alone. Two more tame biographies follow.

Erin Hoover is a poet living in Tallahassee, Florida, with work published in Prairie Schooner, Gargoyle, Redivider, and Sugar House Review, and anthologized in Best New Poets 2013. Erin edits The Southeast Review in addition to volunteering for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is a PhD candidate in Florida State University's Creative Writing Program. Before moving to Florida, she worked as a communications director in New York City and co-founded Late Night Library, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining book culture and supporting authors early in their careers. Her Twitter is @ErinHoover.

Ciara Shuttleworth was born in San Francisco and grew up in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington state. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Confrontation, The New Yorker, The Norton Introduction to Literature 11e, and The Southern Review. Shuttleworth received an MFA in poetry from University of Idaho, a BFA in painting/drawing from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA in studio art from Gustavus Adolphus College.

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