The Four Winds hosted a reading and reception for the Writer in Residence and Professor of Creative Writing Michael “Tod” Edgerton last Tuesday night, providing light refreshments of coffee, tea and cinnamon scones for the audience of New College students and professors. Edgerton read from his book of poems, “Vitreous Hide.”
“I had a great time seeing my professor recite some of his works from his book,” Giulia Heyward, a first-year Catalyst staff writer and member of Edgerton’s creative writing class, said. “It’s so interesting being exposed to poetry that doesn’t take the traditional approach or subject.”
Edgerton effortlessly read from his book and flowed through the intensity of each descriptive and extending poem, unfolding each line. His compelling performance kept a sure grip on the audience’s attention.
The read-in was a great chance for the school to get to know the new member of faculty and gave way to a question and answer session. Director of Writing Jennifer Wells asked Edgerton what his opinion and advice were on the lack of traditional writing programs available through the school.
“It’s a matter of if you really want it you’re already doing it if you’re a writer,” Edgerton said. “Lots of people haven’t had the education so you don’t really need it but it helps of course, it gives you recommendations and feedback,” he added. “I think read, read, read what has been done and is being done. It will feed into your work and what you’re drawn to will guide you.”
“This was a smaller reading than some (but larger than the smallest crowd I’ve read for, which was a group of about ten people stuffed into the tiny back room of the Brooklyn bar, Pete’s Candystore) and, for both the reasons of size and familiarity (eight of the audience members were my students), felt more intimate and casual,” Edgerton said in an email interview.
“A lot of the themes and styles that he chose [in his book] were what we had discussed in class,” Heyward said. “We are always looking at the conveying of a coherent narrative while also working with language and you could see that in his work.”