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On May 15th, 2014, Columbia College Chicago had the Masters of Flight event to coincide with the undergraduate Manifest event that took place a day later. Manifest is a big exposition of student work, and there are events all over the South Loop to showcase the work of students in each program. From gallery exhibits to film screenings, there was always something to do during the two events.
This year, as part of Dr. Kim’s initiative to bring the Masters programs back to the forefront of studies at Columbia, there was a separate event for us the night before Manifest. The Fiction grad students hosted a reading where we were able to showcase our work, and we were each given three minutes to read.
It was great to read alongside Nonfiction and Poetry students. It was nice to be in the same space for a reading with them, and it was really cool to get a sample of the different manuscripts that are either in the completion phase or nearing it of their thesis work. I’m really excited for students that will reap the benefits of being in the program of a newly-merged department.
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The event was a lot of fun, though three minutes was not enough time to get a sample of each person’s thesis work. I felt I was just getting into my peers’ work when they had to stop. It seems that maybe the readings could be broken up to a few different nights to showcase more of the work–students in other programs have their work displayed for weeks, and some students get to show their entire films.
Despite the time-constraint drawback of this event, I hope that this is something that continues to future graduating cohorts. Some beautiful and haunting poetry was shared and snippets of essays and memoiristic pieces and novels left me wanting more and hoping my peers publish soon so I may read their work.