Student reading series “Drop Hammer” going on now

Olivia Smith, Reporter

If you are a writer and would like to read your work in front of an audience, then “The Drop Hammer Student Series” might be for you.

The event at SUNY Buffalo State will be held on Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in Ketchum Hall 313. The event is free and open to the public.

The Drop Hammer Student Series is held once a month and gives students the chance to bring reading and writing together. In the future, the English department hopes to have a larger and more formal semester-ending series in December and May.

The reading series started in 2008, when Professor Kim Chinquee came up with the idea. It was not until 2012 that the event got its name. The name of the series comes from the play, “Drop Hammer,” which was written by Dr. Manny Fried, who taught writing at Buffalo State for 35 years.

In charge of the event is Maureen Lougen, who is excited about the “Spooky” theme for October. “Hopefully they’ll [students] see and hear things in the readings that surprise them, challenge them, inspire them,” Lougen said.

She hopes that just by attending, students will be encouraged to participate in the next opportunity and even bring a friend.

Freshman creative writing major Tahmeed Ahmed, who has participated in the past, is participating in Thursday’s reading.

“I like reading my stuff so it was cool,” Ahmed said. “I would recommend students who are into reading, poetry, read out alouds to attend.”

In past years, there has been open mic readings at the bookstore, but this year, students are being asked to sign up beforehand. New this year, a faculty member will open each short piece with a discussion of writing.

The guest on Oct. 22 will be Dr. David Lampe, an emeriti faculty member. Lampe encourages any student to participate, but stresses the importance of practicing reading your work beforehand.

“Get used to the rhythm of what you’ve written and the feel of it as you speak it,” Lougen said. “Remember what made you excited about writing the piece in the first place and project that excitement and your voice to the last row of the audience.”

The only qualification to participate is that the student must attend Buffalo State. Students can read any type of work such as poetry, short stories, essays or creative non-fiction.

In the past, students have enjoyed reading their work aloud. Senior writing major Sherwin Williams first read his short story in 2012, which was about three groups of people and their religious differences. To make his story stand out, he synced his story with the Trivium song, “The Crusade,” matching the tone.

Williams will share his new piece in the next upcoming event and highly recommends new participants.

“I’d say everyone who enjoys writing and takes pride in their writing should super do it,” Williams said. “To me, if you’re writing, you do it because you want to entertain people. No better way to do that than to share your writing.”

Though the event if full for this October, students can email Maureen Lougen to sign up for the next reading series on November 19. Students are also encouraged to be unique and surprise readers by bringing something different to present.

email: [email protected]