By Joseph Garcia —
Room 300 in the Bingham Humanities building was packed with people involved in the Louisville writing community on the evening of Sept. 11. Fellow writers, professors and U of L students came to hear Professors Kiki Petrosino and Sarah Strickley read from their collection of work.
Both Petrosino and Strickley are recipients of countless awards and fellowships and both teach creative writing here at U of L. Alongside teaching, Petrosino is also the Director of U of L’s Creative Writing program and Strickley is the faculty advisor and editor-in-chief of Miracle Monocle, U of L’s bi-annual online literary journal.
Strickley read chunks of her fiction piece, Peek-a-Boo. It’s a story about an artist who runs into a fifteen-year-old child prostitute one day and how after she mysteriously disappears, becomes the disturbed muse haunting his everyday life.
Strickley’s work was both dark in theme, but beautiful and captivating in language. There wasn’t a moment where her words didn’t wrap themselves around attendees focusing their attention on her.
Sarah Gorham, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sarabande Books, was also at the reading. Gorham introduced Petrosino as one of the humblest, most open and kind authors she has worked with in years.
Petrosino read from her latest collection of poems, Witch Wife, and from her upcoming 2020 collection, White Blood. Like Strickley, Petrosino’s words were captivating and commanded attention.
When introducingWhite Blood, Petrosino described the work “as a look at the legacies of slavery and how it began after she discovered her ancestral roots began in Virginia.” She said this, “isn’t something common for a lot of African Americans.”
Junior Katie Shamblin said, “It was really cool and very interesting. Their works were just so impactful and it was more impactful to hear them read aloud.”
Also in attendance was junior Natalie Synder. “I had never read or heard any of Dr. Petrosino’s or Dr. Strickley’s work, so it was a really nice expierence to get to hear what they’ve been working on,” Synder said.
Photo Courtesy / U of L