This Friday night, Von der Heyden Pavilion will be transformed to showcase the sounds of poetry and smooth jazz, when The Archive literary magazine hosts Salon: An Evening of Poetry, the official launch party for the magazine’s Spring 2012 issue.
The Archive already has an impressive résumé in the literary community. Duke’s undergraduate literary magazine is one of the oldest continually published literary magazines in the country. Established in 1887, The Archive also holds the honor of being Duke’s oldest student publication, promoting poetry and prose among the Duke community in a unique way. Now, the staff aims to increase the awareness of their magazine with Friday’s release party.
“There have been Archive-related readings in the past, but nothing I can remember on this scale,” said English professor Joe Donahue, who will read at Friday’s event. “I think it’s a great thing, and indicative of what seems to me the ever-increasing presence of the arts at Duke.”
Junior Tong Xiang, co-director and emcee of the event, agreed.
“We’ve never really done this before,” Xiang said. “This is the first poetry reading that has Duke’s faculty poets all together.”
Xiang also emphasized that planning such an event took the support and coordination of many, including the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, helmed by Scott Lindroth.
“[Lindroth] has been really exceptionally generous with his time,” Xiang said. “He, along with [Arts Outreach and Communications Assistant] Beverly Meek, have really made this event possible.”
Allowing writers to come together in a professional environment is a central facet of The Archive’s publications. They receive and publish undergraduate submissions every semester, which are reviewed by the student-run editorial board; in this edition, ten authors will be featured. The launch party strives to give these authors and their peers a chance to come out and express themselves in a hopefully supportive way.
“Writing is something that you do in private, reading is something you do in private,” said junior Elizabeth Beam, a co-editor of The Archive. “But I think it will be really great to have writers all come together and talk about literature, look at what’s being published, listen to the readings and really just promote the writing culture.”
The programming at Salon will open with a performance by John Brown, associate professor of music and director of the Duke jazz program. The evening will feature student and faculty speakers, including English professor Deborah Pope, Nathaniel Mackey, the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing and Fred Moten, the Helen L. Bevington Professor of Modern Poetry, along with a variety of written and spoken word performances. There also will be free food and drinks.
With Salon, The Archive hopes embody the title of the event—a gathering of people for the purpose of amusement and intellectual discussion– to raise awareness of the magazine, and of the talent of the undergraduate and faculty writers at Duke.
Salon: An Evening of Poetry will be held in Von der Heyden Pavilion Friday from 6-9 p.m.