For those who are interested in creative writing, listen up. On Saturday March 5 at the LaSalle Hotel in Downtown Bryan, the Texas A&M University Writing Center will be presenting Black Box Speaks. The reading will feature eight undergraduate writers from the Black Box Speaks program as well as several professional writers who instructed the undergraduates during their residency. Among the professional writers are Daniel Peña, Christian Bancroft, and Lowell Mick White – all are Texas A&M Former Students. The event is designed to shine a local spotlight on this unique program.
Black Box Speaks – currently in its second year at Texas A&M – is a unique creative writing residency program. Held over the course of six weeks, participants hone their craft in creative writing. Participants work revisions of old work, developing new work, and learn key performance strategies. The participants learn from professors, professional authors, and University Writing Center consultants. The six-week program provides one-on-one workshops to participants. Any major is eligible to apply, which adds to the uniqueness of the program. The residency program reaches far and wide. Participants are not limited to just English majors, showcasing talents from majors in Philosophy to Computer Science.
The program was created by former writing center consultants, Madison Mae Parker and Emily Sturrock. They saw a need for a creative writing program that also had an emphasis on the performance aspect. The program really came to fruition under Florence Davies. Davies has worked furiously on this project, she herself is an alumni of the Texas A&M Creative Writing program.
“I feel personally committed to this project because I know how much that existing program influenced me, and gave me a voice, and also a sense of community,” said Davies.
The program gets its name from the black box space they use to host their residency workshops. It is located in the new Northside Commons at Hullaballo Hall. Davies credits Dr. Craig Rotter, Assistant Director of Living Learning Programs from the Texas A&M Department of Residence Life.
“We really couldn’t have secured [the space] without [him],” said Davies. “He’s been really encouraging of the program since day one and also the use of the black box space.”
Along with Dr. Ritter, the program is heavily supported by the Executive Director of the University Writing Center, Dr. Valerie Balestar and the Associate Director, Dr. Candace Hastings.
“Without their support, this program would simply not exist,” Davies said.
All involved are looking forward to the March 5 reading at the La Salle Hotel. The Black Box Speaks event will be held in the Brazos room starting at 7pm.