By Sam Arcaini
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – A reading of poetry and literature this week at Camden County College gave students, teachers and anyone interested a behind-the-scenes look at how an established poet and author writes.
“The Reading of Emily Raabe” began at 6:30 p.m. Monday for refreshments and the Dead Poets Society literature club hosted a reading at 7 p.m. in Civic Hall on the Blackwood campus.
Emily Raabe read some of her works and let the audience members gain some insight into the struggles of trying to make it as an author. Some of the works she read during the presentation were “Darwin in the Andes,” “My Best Dream,” “Fox Paws,” “The Hinge” and “Rain Is Black and White Like a Photograph.”
“It was actually a little bit hard choosing at first, but eventually you have to remember who you are reading to, most of the time now I am reading to fourth-graders who have small attention spans and need to have constant stimulation, so I would say mostly based on the audience, since it is a rarity and a treat at that, that I get to read to adults tonight,” Raabe explained.
After the reading a question-and-answer portion was held. “I was always a writer and really never lived life without it. In fact I would sometimes get into trouble because I would write fiction and poetry when I was supposed to be doing things like science,” Raabe said.
“I actually became a professional writer basically by coincidence. My editor told me the address of a lesser known publisher. They were friends prior to this. He said to send a cover letter with my story. I did but it turns out the publisher’s secretary lost the cover sheet, so in the midst of about five manuscripts he randomly placed his hand on mine, started to read it and loved it,” Raabe stated.
About 30 people, about half of them Camden County College students and the other half of them visitors, attended.
“Not as many people showed up as I would have liked but I think that that fact is highly compensated by the questions that were asked by the audience, it shows a great deal of genuine engagement and sincere interest,” said Keith O’Shaughnessy, the adviser to the DPS literature club at Camden County College.