By Rishon Seaborn
Salisbury University’s Writers on the Shore series began nearly 30 years ago. This series allows the work and products of established writers along the Delmarva Peninsula to be displayed.
The English department sponsors this series each semester as it provides a forum for poems and other fictional artistry to be showcased.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 SU welcomed Radar Poetry founders and editors Dara-Lyn Shrager and Rachel Marie Patterson.
Shrager’s poems have been featured in many literary journals including Southern Humanities Review, Barn Owl Review, Salamander, Yemassee, Whiskey Island, Tinderbox and Nashville Review.
Patterson’s poems have been featured in Harpur Palate, Cimarron Review, Smartish Pace, Parcel, The Journal, Thrush Poetry Journal, Nashville Review, Redivider and Fugue.
The theme of the night was entitled “Surf and Turf” as each poet shared their works revolving around water and landscape.
The stylistic tag team reading began with “View from the Leadwood Deck” by Shrager and “Seahorse Motel” by Patterson.
As the night went on, more relatable themes were revealed as each poem shared moments from personal chapters of their lives. The themes of childhood memories, old featured news stories and college recollects were brought to the surface.
The last read of the night concluded with a reading pertaining to the controversial mystery of the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Islands from 1969.
During the Q&A portion that followed, it was revealed that the majority of the college students in attendance did not know about the mentioned reference in Patterson’s poem.
This sparked an interest in the crowd and the floor of questions began to open up. The audience asked questions about stylistic choices and meanings of certain phrases and lines that had been used.
Their unique approach to writing allows for their poetry to create a conversation and create a continuous curiosity for knowledge, understanding and connection.
Several questions pertained to Radar Poetry and the conceptual foundation of its roots. Radar Poetry is a developed electronic literary journal that allows artists and writers to publish their work through a selective submission process.
There are around 400 to 500 poetic submissions per issue and about roughly 20 are published.
“It creates an opportunity for an artist to have a particular artistry with one another,” Shrager said. “We’ve had artists submit their pieces for a chance for exposure or just for pure pleasure.”
A lot of questions were directed toward seeking advice as many young writers were in the audience that night.
The pair encouraged them that there is no rush to be the best or the fastest published artist. Instead they emphasized the importance of quality. They assured them that having ambition is far greater than the pressure of putting a time limit on creativity.
Taking the time to allow integrity to show in your work is equally important.
“We’re 100 percent responsible for every letter on the page—it’s such a great feeling,” Patterson said.
When asked about their inspirations they explained the importance of channeling the events and emotions around you. Shrager even mentioned the influence of her graduate work helping her along the way too.
“The reading I did during grad school is still influencing my work,” Shrager said.
Both Shrager and Patterson are in the process of releasing new works that are soon to be available in 2018.