Photographed by Asli Shebe
On Wednesday, Jan. 20 Seersucker Live hosted yet another one of their infamous ‘shot’ events at The Book Lady. Seersucker Live is a literary arts non-profit in Savannah that began in October 2010 and has been expanding ever since.
“Our whole concept is: leave them wanting more,” said Seersucker Live board member, Joseph Schwartzburt.
The writers — Rita Hickey, Myles Ehrlich, Christina Perry (also known as CC) and Josh McCuen — presented the audience a ‘shot’ of their writing, each reading two pieces of prose.
“We started them when we had some poets that were living in town,” Schwartzburt stated, in regards to the creation of the ‘Seersucker shots’ events. “They joined us. Connected us to the poetry scene throughout the country and brought us lots of people.”
Seersucker Live has brought authors from all over the country. They’ve also worked with SCAD faculty. James Lough, Jonathan Rabb, Lee Griffith, Angela Brandt, Andrea Goto and Harrison Scott Key are among the members of faculty that have participated in the event.
A notable quality of the Seersucker events is that they stray away from the formal nature of a reading. Many of their events include trivia and games.
“We do all the stuff to make it fun and not feel the pressure of your typical quiet finger-snapping reading,” said Schwartzburt.
“More often than not the authors will tell us ‘this is the most books I’ve sold at a reading anywhere and the most people I’ve ever read to.’ We are really proud of that,” added Schwartzburt.
“The second time I got here I met the seersucker folk and they’re the group of writers that everyone should know in town, I think. And they’re super passionate so the second they found out what I was working on they were like, let’s do an event,” said Perry.
Perry was among the four writers that shared their work at the event.
“When I came back to Savannah in March, I was only supposed to be here for four days. The second I got here there was just so much creativity… I just knew that if I could come back here again and write about it for a while it would be good,” said Perry, who just recently moved to Savannah.
The other three writers — Ehrlich, Hickey and McCuen — are currently working on completing their MFA in writing.
“After I finished my undergrad degree at NYU I wanted to keep writing wherever I could. That’s actually where I met CC. We did a writing program at UC Berkeley together,” said Ehrlich.
Both Ehrlich and Perry mentioned that they strayed away from writing as much as they could, but after some time found themselves gravitating back to it. When it came to offering up any advice to students planning to pursue writing, their responses varied:
“Read. Read. Read. Read. As much as you can,” said Ehrlich. “For me peer-editing is really where I’ve found the most growth in my writing… you learn a lot about the technical and the rhetoric that way and then you take that over in your own craft,” he added.
“To not be afraid to speak your voice,” said Perry, pointing out how important it is for writers to stay true to themselves. “It’s still a boy’s world in the literary world. And so I think that it’s very important for women in particular, to not compromise on what you want to say,” she added.