Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Literary Equivalent of a High-Speed Alligator Ride: A Fiction Reading by Bryan Furuness and Michael Poore

Miranda Peterson
The 2015 Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference is quickly approaching. Along with its speedy arrival is the anticipation of the conference’s Featured Reading from Noon–1:00, with Bryan Furuness and Michal Poore. Each author has an incredibly unique style, destined to have the audience buckling their seatbelts and holding on to their pens at the very start of the session.
Bryan Furuness, the 2015 Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference’s keynote speaker, is an instructor at Butler University, a writer, and an editor. He is a northwest Indiana native, which is reflected in his novel The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson. Bryan Furuness with Michael Martone is co-editor of Winesburg, Indiana. His other creative writing works have been published in various literary magazines.
In regard to the Fiction Reading, Bryan Furuness is strengthening the anticipation of registered conference attendees by giving no word on what pieces he intends to read.  Though readers of Furuness’ work have an idea of his creative style, the reading itself will amplify the overall experience of his creative literary pieces. When it comes to Q&A following the reading, roles may be reversed. Furuness will need to buckle his seatbelt as audience attendees question everything from novel writing to publishing. When asked to reflect on past Q&A experiences, Furuness responded, “The minute I end a Q&A, I am filled with hot regret. I want to revise all my answers, but I've yet to meet the audience that will cooperate with this request.” The 2015 Steel Pen Reading and Q&A will hopefully give Furuness the opportunity to keep the audience intrigued, then to relax, loosen his seatbelt, and give his best response to every question.
Michael Poore, the co-speaker at the midday reading, has similar Midwestern roots, being born and raised in Ohio. After two years of undergraduate school at Ohio University, then numerous interesting jobs, Poore returned to OU and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Education. During his time at OU, Michael Poore published a cartoon strip in the OU Post.  Creative Writing courses at OU were what led him into more serious creative writing. Poore’s “massive upheaval” in life came when he “was working as a substitute teacher, and [he] moved from SE Ohio to Chicagoland.” From that point on, Poore has published numerous pieces in various literary publications. Poore’s more recent writing career includes writing and publishing Up Jumps the Devil, along with six months of radio interviews and book signings to promote the work. Poore revealed, “Now things are quiet again, and I’m working on a new novel.”
The fiction reading by Michael Poore is sure to excite the audience. Poore’s physical voice as an author will reveal the true creative element of his literary work. When asked to reflect on past Q&A experiences, Poore responded, “The thing that stays with me is always the people who came to listen and participate . . .  The audience turns the event from a plan and a schedule into a living thing.” In order to keep pace with the theme of the reading, Poore reiterates, “It’s a two way street, after all.” The author and audience connection and experience for this reading will be positively seat gripping. Poore’s concluding element of a reading is that “[He] feel[s] ten feet tall after a reading.  More importantly, [he] tend[s] to feel that the audience consists of giants, too.” 
The 2015 Steel Pen Writers’ Conference takes place October 10, 2015. For registration information visit

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