Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Erin Pringle to beam into ISU's Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writer Series

Once upon a time, about twenty years ago, I was a college student living in an apartment at the back of a red brick house that shared a back alley with a bowling alley and the dumpsters for Mogger's Restaurant and the Tap Room. 

By day, I spent my time in the halls of Root Hall at Indiana State University (ISU), most often with my best friend Alexa--whether we were in class, picking up free books in boxes outside professors' offices, or smoking cigarettes on the picnic bench outside the building.

By night, I wrote in the screen light of my iMac in my kitchen, drank too much wine, and crossed the driveway to the Tap Room or to my best friend's apartment. Sometimes, I'd carry my dirty dishes to her because I hated washing dishes and she would do that for me, knowing that it was that or I'd leave them to mold then throw away.  

At the time, I didn't know how fleeting those years would be or that not every university would be as wonderful, or that not every English department kept their doors open and inviting to students. 

Of course, twenty years have passed somehow, and Alexa has died, my former professors are retired, teaching elsewhere, or in the grave. A few of the stories I wrote in the Creative Writing classes appear in my first book, The Floating Order ("Losing, I Think"; "Wednesday Night Reflections, Edited Thursday"; and "Remember Ella"), and the initial idea for my newest novel (Hezada! I Miss You) was seeding itself.

One of my favorite departmental events was the "Always on Friday" presentations at which professors shared what they were working on--and, bonus, there'd be doughnuts in the kitchen. 

Another perk was the Creative Writing Department's Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writer Series, wherein the department would bring writers to campus to talk with the students and share their own work. 

I'm happy to say that now I'll be on the other side of the podium, virtual as that podium may be. And I hope you can make it.

As much as I desperately wish I could be there in person, and that you could be there in person, we know what times we live in, so we must be together virtually. 

The event is free and open to the public, whether you live in, near, or far from Terre Haute, Indiana and the ISU campus.