Senior Selections

By: Breanna Abshire

Dozens of Kohawks attended the Senior Selections showcase put on by the Creative Writing Department this last Thursday, January 20, to enjoy excerpts from four of our graduating seniors; Chinasa Menakaya, Emma Hodges, Gable Meade, and Olivia Griggs (2022). These writers were able to showcase their manuscripts to the largest audience that Professor Aspengren can remember.

“I was really impressed by all the people that came here,” Aspengren said. The stories “are only fifteen minutes and it’s important that people have someone to read to.”

Unlike ever before, this event had so many graduating students that it had to be split up into three nights. Senior Selections is not just a night to celebrate Kohawk novelists, but to celebrate the novelists, screenwriters, and poets among us. Thursday’s event showcased the work of two novelists, a screenwriter, and a poet. 

Chinasa Menakaya, a novelist, read an excerpt from her novel “Dear Death” about a murder in a Nigerian boarding school. Menakaya ended her reading just as the first victim fell to his knees much to the displeasure of Kohawks.

Emma Hodges read aloud a collection of poems from their collection entitled “Birds and Other Prayers.”  Even if poetry is not your favorite genre, Hodges’s collection will quickly change that. Her poems speak to the beauty of nature with undertones of the grey line between life and death.

Gable Meade and his cast of readers presented the first book in his series “CassTech.” The excerpt is from “The Centurions,” a superhero story with familial love and a hunger to make a positive impact at the center. Meade’s novel was brought to life by three Kohawk voice actors; Luke Reynolds as the Narrator, Jon Kratzer as Jason Cass, and Jane Callahan as Jess Cass. 

The final reader, screenwriter Olivia Griggs, presented her screenplay, “Game of Cards,” along with her cast. The cast’s presentation of a dystopian world in which stepping out of line brings you actual pain had Kohawks leaning forward in their seats in anticipation. Presented by Olivia Griggs as Narrator, Diedrich Swetlik as Johnathen, Isabel Huerta as Sigret and Teacher, Lucas Kendall as Old Man and Mr. Krau, Ella Strong as Synthia and Josephine, and Gavin Guns as Boy and Roger.

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