Literary Enthusiasts Celebrate The Written Word

April Knutson, MSUM Multimedia Journalism

People gather in the Red Raven Espresso Parlor to share their love of literature.

FARGO, N.D. —Whether you like poetry or prose, Fargo offers several options for those looking to experience a live reading of literature.

People gather to share Banned Books

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Sigma Tau Delta hosted a Banned Books reading at the Red Raven Espresso Parlor at 7 p.m., Oct 18. Sigma Tau Delta is an International English Honor Society that works to promote literature and writing. Banned books are defined as “books to which free access is not permitted.” Banning books is a form of censorship with religious, political or moral motivations.

At the Red Raven, numerous banned books were available to read from, including Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.”

“Most banned books have a wide audience and are popular, so I personally read banned books for their literary contributions,” Sigma Tau Delta president Katie Hansen said.

Jessica Jasperson reads from an excerpt from “The Jungle.”

Attendees read from such work as “The Jungle,” “The Catcher and the Rye” and “The Hunger Games.”

Both young and old read from their favorite “banned” books.

Audience members enjoyed the works as they sipped espresso.

Poetry book opening hosted at DK Framing

“Wiener Dogs and Other Muses” is Hoper’s debut poetry book displaying her vast knowledge of the haiku form.

Also on Oct. 18, DK Custom Framing hosted a reading for local poet Christine Hoper.  Hoper celebrated the release of her poetry book“Wiener Dogs and Other Muses”

“A bunch of us had the pleasure to watch her read some of her work to us. Then we had the chance to read some of the poems to her in return,” attendee Diana Oster said.

Literature enthusiast remember past readings

Venues like the Spirit Room host readings.

Live literature is thriving in downtown Fargo. Sometimes, readings will feature local university professors like the recent event “The Evening of Two Kevins” at DK Custom Framing. MSUM professors Dr. Kevin Carollo and Kevin Zepper read from their works to an eager crowd.

Attending a reading can create a visual image for readers. Audience members report that they “enjoy hearing expression of characters” in the pieces. Still others site other motivations for attending readings.

“At a reading you become part of the environment, part of something more. Reading is solitary, but this is a performance, and whether you’re part of the audience or waiting to read those feelings are obviously different than sitting in a chair at the library reciting stuff silently,” Travis Moore said.

For those who haven’t been to a reading, Hansen explains the attraction.

“It’s a new experience and enjoyable for those who like literature and meeting people with similar interests,” Hansen said.

Check out this storify to find out more about local readings and information on  Banned Books.

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