Writers Week brings readings, special events to the Hill

By Bonnie Wertheim ’14

Here at Hamilton College, we celebrate exceptional writing every day—by publishing student work in our campus publications, nominating individuals for Writing Center tutorship and praising our peers’ efforts during Creative Writing workshops. But this week on the Hill, the College has chosen to honor writers from both near and far.

The English and Creative Writing Department’s International Writers Week kicked off on Tuesday, Feb. 26 with a pizza party and screening of the 2002 film adaptation of bestselling author A.S. Byatt’s Booker prize-winning novel, Possession: A Romance.

On Wednesday, the Little Pub hosted a Harry Potter-themed Trivia Night. Creative Writing senior concentrators Marty Cain, Anna Paikert and Dave Snyder emceed the event, which drew a crowd of superfans who were eager to show off their knowledge on J.K. Rowling’s books and their big-screen versions.

“My team, J.K. LOL-ing, had a great time,” said Meghan Doherty ’14. “It was awesome when I knew the answer to really obscure Harry Potter questions. Finally I have a use for all this HP knowledge!”

The best of International Writers Week is yet to come, though. This Thursday, Kamila Shamsie ’94 will take on any questions that the College community might have for her at 4 p.m. in Root 201. Shamsie grew up in Karachi—where her novel In the City by the Sea is located—and currently lives in London. She is not only a Hamilton graduate but a former visiting professor who is now serving as the College’s writer-in-residence.

“She knows not only where our writing students are coming from but where they might hope to go,” said Professor of English and Creative Writing Doran Larson.

Earlier this week, Shamsie paid a visit to Larson’s Study of the Novel class, which is currently reading her most recent novel, Burnt Shadows.

This weekend is host to a series of readings. Friday at 8 p.m. in the Chapel, Byatt will read from her works, which include The Children’s Book and Ragnarok – the End of the Gods. After the reading, she will gladly sign books.

On Saturday, Taylor Science Center is the place to be. At 10 a.m., the International Book Fair begins in the Atrium. All are welcome to join poet and essayist Ishion Hutchinson for a Jamaican breakfast at 10:30 a.m. before his 11 a.m. reading in the same location. Hutchinson’s first book of poems, Far District, won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award in 2011.

In G041 at 2 p.m., both Hutchinson and Shamsie will be speaking in a panel discussion about their favorite international authors. The week’s events conclude with a reading at 4 p.m. in the Atrium by Shamsie.


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