Audio: poems and prose from Bates’ creative writing majors

With poet and writing adviser Rob Farnsworth looking on, Karen Nicoletti '12 reads from her novel during the 2012 Mount David Summit. Photograph by Rene Minnis.

As is his custom at the annual senior thesis reading, creative writing adviser Rob Farnsworth blessed the graduating Bates poets and novelists whom he has advised during the academic year.

A poet and senior lecturer in English, Farnsworth invoked the four ingredients that Herman Melville said writers need to continue their important but often thankless art.

“May you go forth into the world,” Farnsworth told the seniors, “and find what every writer needs: time, strength, cash and patience.” And like any good public reader, he paused at “cash” for appropriate humorous effect.

Farnsworth also praised them for their “dedicated commitment to the life of the imagination.”

The seven readers and their voices at the May 17 event (an eighth creative writing major, Emily Cull of Greenville, S.C., was unable to attend):

Alison Cornforth of Warren, Maine, read autobiographical poems. The experience of creating them, she said, raised emotional issues, “but I ended up writing them anyway.”

Listen to Alison Cornforth read her autobiographical poetry.

Alana Folsom of Los Angeles read part of her prose thesis that explains, like a parable, the curse on the small Southern town that is the focus on her story.

Listen to Alana Folsom read prose about the curse on a small town.

Lil Henry of Lee, N.H., read from her poetry on relationships, including one about difficult emotions a young mother feels toward her new baby.

Listen to Lil Henry’s poetry about human relationships.

Karen Nicoletti of Brewster, N.Y., read from her prose thesis about a saxophone player and Juilliard dropout who winds up playing for handouts in the New York City subway.

Listen to Karen Nicoletti read a selection from her prose thesis.

Charlotte Simpson's poetry and prose explore the power of imagination to pull us into the unknown. Photograph by Rene Minnis.

Meg Ramey of Bethesda, Md., read her gritty and realistic poem “Violet” and a selection from her prose thesis dealing with mental and emotional disorientation.

Listen to Meg Ramey read her poetry and prose.

Charlotte Simpson of New York, N.Y., read the poem “Opener” and a prose piece called “Space Is the Place,” each about submitting to one’s imagination and the unknown.

Listen to Charlotte Simpson read two pieces whose theme is the lure of the unknown.

Michelle Schloss of Unionville, Conn., read a biographical poem, 18 stanzas each with 10 lines about Zelda Fitzgerald, from her wild Roaring Twenties days to her suicide in 1948.

Listen to Michelle Schloss read her biographical poem about Zelda Fitzgerald.