FSU creative writers bookend the 2018 Reading Series at The Bark

GANNETT Syndication Service Nellie Zucker, Staff Writer
Published 1:11 p.m. ET Dec. 2, 2018
Tanya Grae reading at The Bark as a part of the Jerome Stern Distinguished Writers Series.(Photo: Nellie Zucker/FSView)The Jerome Stern Distinguished Writers Series celebrated its final reading of the semester at The Bark. Since being forced to move locations (their previous building, The Warehouse, closed its doors recently), the series has since turned the Railroad Square, artsy restaurant into a space for enjoying a meal, having a drink and soaking in Tallahassee’s literary scene.The mural-laden room was filled from wall to wall with people excited to hear some of Florida State University’s finest faculty share their personal work with creative writing associates, friends, family and just those in the neighborhood looking to enlighten their evening.In the bittersweet goodbye to the fall 2018 readings, readers Cocoa Williams and Tanya Grae shared selections of poetry from their respective collections.Williams gave a stirring performance across her poems related to love, New Orleans, the African-American woman’s experience and music. Her words evoked the imagery of times and places both near and far. It brought an emotional silence to the room as she read about her mother and heartbreak.Williams read a range from her collection. “I guess I try to create a narrative out of poems that are old, new and new semi-new,” said Williams. “I basically compile a sort of a storyline that moves the audience from one reality to another one so that’s usually how I pick [what to share at a reading]. Maybe how I’m feeling at that time or what the audience is going to be like in a particular setting.Williams is currently working on a collection that she read aloud to try on the audience.”… A few of them were new … I’d never read them out loud before,” Williams …

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