Mosaic / January 16, 2019

Creative writers showcase growth in writing

Senior Josh Althoff reads his poetry to a big crowd at his Milk Route performance. Althoff spent all of winter break picking his pieces. (Erika Riley/TKS)

With Winter Term comes the tradition of Milk Route. The creative writing seniors are in full swing gearing up for the 10-minute reading of the finest work they have curated throughout their years at Knox. Senior Josh Althoff weighs in on his anticipation leading up to his reading.

“It was nerve wracking, to say the least, but I felt comfortable doing it,” said Althoff, “The space feels small and warm and then when you get up to read, you realize the space is quite large, still warm, but quite large, there were a lot of people sitting.”

Althoff spent all of the winter break curating what he was going to read. As a poet, to fill up the full 10 minutes of performing, he had to pick several pieces. His series of poems focused on the ideas of death, life and loss. The creative writing major explained how important it was for him to pick the right pieces to share.

“I think the largest part about Milk Route is choosing what you’re going to read, so I tried to make it meaningful,” said Althoff, who felt honored to share emotional pieces about the loss of a dear friend and how he processed the experience.

“[I wrote this] After a friend of mine passed away, her name was Anica, it’s an Annie collection!” Althoff said. “One of the reasons it was really cool was because I got to share that little curated collection with an audience. I’ve never read my Annie poems together before, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever put them all in one place before.”

Althoff stated he has grown immensely as a writer since coming to Knox, and although he strictly wrote rhyming poetry before coming to Knox, he hasn’t written a poem that rhymes since he met Chair of the Creative Writing department Monica Berlin while he was still just a prospective student.

Senior Dianna Medic is still waiting anxiously for her time to share her work at Milk Route, and is tossing around several different pieces of work to share. Since she writes stories instead of poetry, she has to limit it down to one piece of writing that embodies her as a writer. She still hasn’t completely decided on which story she is going to choose, but is thinking of possibly performing a piece of screenwriting she has written.

“I’m minoring in performance which makes you think that Milk Route wouldn’t be a big deal, you would be wrong,” Medic said. “I was mentioning to my roommate that poets get all the luck because they get to choose like eight of their pieces and do them in ten minutes and I have to pick one story that represents me as a writer that I can perform in 10 minutes.”

Medic is excited to perform her work and sees it more as sharing her writing rather than a performance. Both Althoff and Medic showed that they feel quite attached to their writing and to share it with an audience of peers and professors is an exciting time to prove what they have done as creative writing majors. Medic explained how lucky she feels to be able to major in the art that she loves and to get to practice her art.

“I have to get good at the things I care about and then find things to do with them later rather than trying to get really good at something I hate,” Medic said.

The first Milk Route took place on Jan. 11. The next will be at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at 306 E. Simmons, otherwise known as The Space. There will be three more throughout the year.


Tags:  Creative writing creative writing major fiction final reading genre literature milk route nonfiction performance Poetry screenplay senior showcase the space

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