Bangs: Book release & poetry reading

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Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the release of Bangs, a book of poetry inspired by the hair bands of the ’80s, written by part-time faculty person Amye Archer.

First, a word about Amye:
Amazing.
And not like “Amazing Amy” of Gone Girl fame. More like a real-life, down-to-earth, bubbling-over-with-fun-and-energy-and-passion-and-pain kind of amazing. Amye’s students love her and learn from her. We’ve been lucky to have her share her gifts at Marywood.

Last night, Amye’s amazing-ness manifested itself in a range of poems. The title poem focuses on hair itself,
bedazzled by the dried
     drops of crystallized
     Aqua Net.

The wry humor in such passages was counterbalanced by moments of raw vulnerability as Amye read poems about teen emotions, sexual encounters, an ongoing longing for California, and motherhood.

Before Amye shared her own poetry, she invited two Marywood alumni and a current student to share poems they had composed in classes with her.

Marnie Azzarelli, ’14, was up first. She used some swears in her poetry and worried that her parents would be shocked.

Bailey Bloyd, ’14, followed. Bailey credited Amye with helping her find her current work with Breaking Ground Poets.

Finally, Allison Ranieri, ’15, shared her work after a warming up the crowd with a laugh or two.

Amye also had three of her friends read rock songs from the ’80s. These readings were quite funny. Amye herself finished her reading with Whitesnake’s “Is This Love?“, which she dedicated to her husband.

I can answer Whitesnake’s question: Yes, Amye, this is love. Love for the readers and writers of this energetic night, and love for the words they were willing to share with us.

–Laurie McMillan, faculty

Laurie McMillan was so eager to attend this book release that she got her dates mixed up and first tried to attend a whole week early. When the night finally arrived, she was happy to see others from the English Department there, as well as a good crowd from the local community. The arts are alive and well in Scranton!

 

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