Creative Writing Graduates Read on WBCR

Around the world, listeners are able to stream Beloit College class of 2021 creative writing seniors sharing their work.

Ten seniors in the Creative Writing program at Beloit are reading selections of their work on WBCR 90.3 Beloit College Radio as part of a Sunday night senior showcase series. Locals have been tuning in to the radio, and friends and families have been streaming online from afar, to hear performances of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

The showcase runs over the course of three Sunday at 7pm Central Time:

  • Sunday, April 25: Meg Kulikowski, Griffin Cross, Siwei Zhang
  • Sunday, May 2: Ben Katz, Tea Islam, Adrian Hughes
  • Sunday, May 9: Isabella Valdez, Zay Wisdom, Elsa Cournoyer, Olivia Potter

Every year, graduating creative writers provide a capstone for their career at Beloit by giving a public performance. It’s how the worlds they have built in poetry and fiction start to build the “real world,” too. As students, they have shared their work with peers in intimate writing workshops, but it takes an extra set of nerves to read for a global, public audience.

Because of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, the English Department had to think creatively about providing students an opportunity for a public reading. Sydney Ortiz, a creative writing major graduating this year as well, is one of the station managers at the student-run radio station, WBCR, and came up with an idea. Instead of having a reading in a room with a limited audience, what if students were broadcasting to the entire community—and, because WBCR also has a live stream online, to the entire world? In addition to having a wider audience, the opportunity also meant that many students whose parents live across the country could also hear them read.

The ten students who are reading have used whatever technology was available to them. Some made use of the WBCR podcast recording studio, but others who were not on campus were also able to record themselves on their smartphones before it was broadcast on Sunday.

“Although we thought of WBCR as an alternative when the pandemic made an in-person reading impossible,” said Assistant Professor of English Michael Dango, “we think this might be a great option in any year. In the fall, we hope to begin regularly featuring students reading their work on WBCR.” Professors have also begun exploring the option of broadcasting readings on the City of Beloit’s public access channel, BATV.

April 30, 2021

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