Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eva Salutis Reads a Beautiful Piece

It was the second night of the Reading Series at UAA. There are writing workshops/classes going on this week, which is why all these writers are here. In the evenings the students share their teachers with the rest of us.

The evening began with Derick Burleson who teaches at UAF. (I posted all the bios in the previous post.) I'm afraid I didn't connect with him tonight - we were in different places.

But Eva Saulitis' piece worked for me in various ways. (And they even brought in a lamp tonight which really improved the lighting.)

First and foremost was how she wrote this. She took 13 stabs at starting her story about her trip to her ancestral home in Latvia. While she used a professional conference as the impetus for the trip, it was really to visit long lost family. Each time she started over, she covered a bit of the ground she'd hit in the previous takes, but from a slightly different angle. Blogging has highlighted the futility of telling any story and I appreciated her multi-story approach. There's so much to tell sometimes, so many layers of the same topic, each requiring its own telling. There isn't just one story. And through Saulutis' 13 little stories, she painted 13 layers, each revealing nuances that the others hadn't. And the stories, particularly the disparity between when her father signed up to fight for the Germans in WW II (1941) and when his brother was drafted (1944) was rich and poignant. And like much of her visit, many things were left unsaid.

The video has parts 12 and 13. (I was a little unsure of posting any of the video, but since they announced tonight that they are recording the whole series for podcasting later I figured it would be ok.)

1 comment:

  1. I am very nervous when I have to speak in front of people. I hate doing that. Luckily I have done it only a few times.
    I have slight stuttering and I used to attend speech therapist but I am still not a perfect speaker.
    So good for her.


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