Colorado Springs, Colorado
English Literature Major, Religious Studies and Spanish Double Minor
What is your favorite place on campus?
I'd have to say the WVKC studio -- it seems a world apart. Very dim lighting, old record covers hanging on the walls. It's a place where I've had some of my most interesting conversations with other students -- usually writers or musicians, but also scientists, actors, and dancers. Since it's on the top floor of GDH, there's a very real seclusion there -- and yet, every word you say is broadcast over the town, ready to be picked up by anybody with an alarm-clock radio. It's a place where the boundary between private and public dissolves.
Tell us about a memorable class, experience, professor, or assignment.
For Professor Monica Berlin's poetry workshop, we were supposed to collaborate with another student, writing poems back and forth and eventually making our own chapbook. Solitude seems so essential for the writer, but the writing evolves in an unexpected way when it becomes communal.
What campus jobs have you had while at Knox?
I've been lucky to find two interesting jobs here at Knox. I worked as a student assistant to the editors of Knox Magazine, our alumni publication. I was assigned some very interesting projects, like writing a profile of Dorothea Tanning '32, who grew up in Galesburg, dropped out of Knox to move to Chicago, and eventually became renowned for her paintings. I also work as a research assistant to Professor Lance Factor. We're seeing what we can dredge up from the Seymour Library archives, which means I'm reading a lot of personal documents -- letters, journals, and the like.
Your play, The Porcelain Vase, is available from Samuel French. How did it get published?
When I was writing The Porcelain Vase, I was thinking a lot about conservatism -- religious, political, personal -- the way it always seems to be a form of nostalgia. I wanted to explore that on stage, so the play follows a widower as he sells his possessions with the help of his son. The two clash over how they recreate and preserve their shared past. I submitted the play to the Educational Theatre Association's annual Thespian Playworks competition, and my script became a finalist. A few people from Samuel French, Inc. were at a staged reading of the play during the 2010 International Thespian Festival. After the performance, they approached me and offered to publish my play along with the other Playworks finalists. The entire experience allowed me to work with some very wise directors and dramaturges.
Listen to Christopher's This Is Where We Live podcast about the sounds we hear around Galesburg and the Knox campus.