The University of La Verne’s Creative Writing department held a launch party for the Prism Review last week.
The Prism Review is a literary journal that includes the work of undergraduate students. It also includes feature stories from writers across Southern California.
Sean Bernard, assistant professor of writing, began by describing the course and introducing the many aspects of creative writing.
He spoke of the Prism Review and its attempts to become publicized.
“This year was the first time we pursued publication on a national level,” Bernard said. “We have today two featured readers who will be followed by the (publication’s) staff.”
The first featured reader was University of Southern California graduate student, Neil Aitken, whose interview was printed in the Prism Review.
Aitken described himself as a nomad, who was constantly on the move.
“‘The Lost Country of Sight’ moves through geographic and familiar exile emotion. I grew up moving place to place – born in Vancouver, British Columbia, then ending up in Saudi Arabia and then Taiwan,” Aitken said.
His book, “The Lost Country of Sight,” includes the poems “The Art of Forgetting,” “Burials,” “Outside Plato’s Republic” and “My Father is Landscape.”
Both “Outside Plato’s Republic” and “My Father is Landscape” received much attention.
“Outside Plato’s Republic” takes a shot against the idea that poets should not have a say in society, as posed by Socrates, while “My Father is Landscape” is a more sensitive poem that speaks of Aitken’s connection to his father.
The conclusion of Aitken’s segment was followed by a brief intermission, which was then proceeded by the introduction of Peter Tieryas Liu.
Liu, who has worked on films like “I Am Legend” and “G-Force” as a character technical director, came to the University to read his feature story.
“Her Brother’s Crow,” speaks of a shy man in the early stages of building a new relationship.
The featured readers were followed by readings from undergraduate students.
Brianna Chiapellone, Marlain Moreno, Kyle Reed and Alyse Beni all read the works of more established poets, such as John Grey and Jared Harel.
Immediately following were the spring of 2009 graduating Creative Writing students, all reading original works.
Senior, Adriana Serrano, read “The Heart Beats the Shoe’s Tale,” which she created for her senior project.
Michael Frederick based his monologue off the Faustian tales of Chris Farlow.
A Faustian tale bases itself on sacrificing spiritual values for material gain.
A Faustian tale is typically narrated by a man, whereas in Frederick’s case, his narrator of choice was God.
Katarina Woloschuk, the last senior to present, introduced her compilation of five short stories in her book “Mirrors.”
Nearly 30 people attended the event in the President’s Dining Room.
“It was something different for me, but it was very moving. I would advocate for others to go see it for themselves next time,” sophomore Jonathan S. Elias said.
Copies of the Prism Review may be purchased through the University of La Verne. Off campus sales may be dealt with by calling 909-593-3511, ext. 4529.
Marla Bahloul can be reached at email@example.com.