Two writers share works at literary reading Nov. 18 on campus

by University Communications,

Writers Jay Ponteri and Emily Kendal Frey will read selections of their works Nov. 18 as part of the “New Voices Showcase” at Willamette University.

The free event — part of the Hallie Ford Literary Series — will begin at 5 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library.

“There is no good reason not to attend a reading,” says Frey, a poet who teaches at Portland Community College and The Independent Publishing Resource Center.

“A reading is a truly unique and rare event, one where all sorts of forces collaborate and the potential for transformation is high.”

Frey’s first full-length poetry collection, “The Grief Performance,” won the Poetry Society of America’s 2012 Norma Farber First Book Award. The book is comprised of three sections — lyric, blocky narratives and one long poem called “A Meditation on a Meditation of Frost.”

Frey will read from the book, as well as share some of her newer pieces.

Ponteri is the author of the memoir, “Wedlocked,” released in the spring of 2013. The book details Ponteri’s desire for another woman and its affects on his marriage.

He also directs the creative writing program at Marylhurst University and is the founder of a summer creative writing camp for high school students.

To Frey, literary readings, such as this one, give new life to creative works.

“Whenever we show up for the art — be it music, painting, writing, dance, video, the list is endless — we are making ourselves available to the bigger project of life itself,” she says. “The writer needs the audience as much as, or more than, the audience needs the poet.”

The Hallie Ford Literary Series is organized by members of Willamette’s English Department. It features poets, novelists, short story writers and others, who are brought to campus each semester to meet with students and discuss the writing process.