1252023 stegner fellow reading

Writers Jalen Eutsey and Ashley Hand share the power in the mundane

Jalen Eutsey (above, right) and Ashley Hand (left) laughed as they answered audience questions during a Q&A at the first Stegner Fellow Reading of the year. The two recited poetry and revolving around their memories and connections to home. Home is a sensation. It's the places where you've laughed and cried, where old street corners and gas stations carry memories, where even the silence feels familiar. On Wednesday evening nostalgia filled the Mackenzie Room, as a vibrant, eager audience gathered for the first Stegner fellow reading of the winter quarter. The reading featured two first-year fellows: Jalen Eutsey and Ashley Hand. Both writers drew inspiration heavily from their past experiences with home and family. “In so many poems, Jalen leaves us in an uncomfortable certainty,” Amanda Gunn, second-year Stegner Fellow, said in her introduction of Eutsey. This quality is apparent in Eutsey's recited tales of “bird-chested boys” who played in the dangerous streets of West Bryant, Florida. Similarly, in his poem, “Snuff,” Eutsey writes his father's tobacco addiction — “I learned what you can and can't make of a man” — recounting the time his father had offered him tobacco as a teen. His words leapt from playful to solemn, pausing every few lines to allow for contemplative silence. The concept of home took a different shape for Hand. As a service academy graduate and former military officer frequently deployed worldwide to various armed conflicts, Hand's stories draw greatly from her experiences […] (Photo: BRAD YAC-DIAZ/The Stanford Daily)

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