Basically, Guest Writers is the raddest book club ever. You read, you discuss, then you meet the person who wrote what you’ve been analyzing. You and your class get a private Q & A with him or her and then attend a reading in Blodgett House where your book can be signed. Also, photos with the authors are also allowed if you ask them first.
I took Guest Writers this semester and had an absolute blast. I now have personally met Gregory Pardlo, André Aciman, and Sabina Murray. Each and every one of them was incredibly informative and didn’t shy away from any of the questions asked. Plus, they were always happy to take a photo with me and Pardlo even mentioned something I had said in the Q & A during his reading. I enjoyed the class so much that I intend to take it each year of being here, which Peter has said is totally allowed since there will always be new authors.
If you want to succeed in this class, all you have to do is be excited and turn in your work. It’s a pass/fail course, and if I recall correctly, Peter once mentioned he has never failed anyone. The class only meets 9 times, and sure, you’ll eventually turn in eight response journals and a final project, but even though there is quite a bit of writing it isn’t stressful in the least.
Explicit material was in many of the books we read. There were quite a few graphic sex scenes as well as some brutal violence. I wasn’t bothered, but if you would be, remember that every book is going to be contemporary, so you should expect contemporary themes.
Rating: Solid 10/10
Elise Kelley is a member of and frequent contributor to the Weekly Cad.