Proud Larry’s hosted the third Broken English event of this semester Tuesday, featuring readings of prose and poetry by two students in the creative writing master’s degree program.
The event featured writers Tyriek White and Hallie Beard.
White presented an untitled piece of prose he said was fairly new, calling it a “collection of moments.”
“I really want people to visualize this work,” White said. “It has some funny parts and some emotional parts, just like how life is. It’s really descriptive, and I want the people to smell the smells and feel the feelings.”
His piece referenced police brutality and feeling lost growing up, a theme with which many of the audience members seemed to connect.
“The one-liners in that were amazing,” English major Christopher Roberts said. “I loved the line, ‘That’s what you get when you’re a 20-something and wandering.’ It was so powerful.”
During the 10-minute break between the two readings, the audience buzzed with energy.
Beard took the stage after the break and read some of her selected poems, including “How to Turn on a Man,” “Self Portrait as a Car,” “Don’t Be Concerned, We Weren’t Made for This Kind of Hunger” and “Groundhog Day as the Madonna.”
“It’s a mix of older and newer stuff,” Beard said. “It came down to the things I was comfortable with and the things that I thought would challenge me.”
Her pieces were also well-received. In reference to “How to Turn on a Man,” English major Gunnar Ohberg said. “I really liked the constant references to inanimate and mechanized objects to represent humanity. It reminds me why I come to these.”
“Don’t Be Concerned, We Weren’t Made for This Kind of Hunger” seemed to resonate with many members of the audience. The crowd gasped after Beard finished reading the piece.
After Beard’s readings, Ohberg vocally advocated for these readings.
“Broken English is everything new,” Ohberg said. “It is where the language is truly dangerous.”