Laurie Stone reading prompts the ‘Berg community to feel

Muhlenberg's event with author Laurie Stone moves audience members.

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Hosted by the English department and creative writing program, award-winning writer Laurie Stone read and discussed some of her work, including unpublished pieces on Thursday, Apr. 7, in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum. The event also included a book signing. 

“The reading was truly amazing,” Cristina Lewis ‘23 said. “Getting to see the vulnerability behind every piece she writes makes it that much better.” 

Stone first started with little snippets of her work, shared and published on social media sites like Facebook. She remarked that after being in isolation for so long, she wanted to find a writer community to ease her loneliness. 

“She’s admirable in how she’s always experimenting and growing with her writing, breaking down the standards of how to construct a story or connect ideas,” Maggie Guinman ‘25 said. 

“She’s admirable in how she’s always experimenting and growing with her writing, breaking down the standards of how to construct a story or connect ideas”

Stone is also a current visiting professor for a creative writing masterclass at the College. After she read each of three pieces, Stone would turn to her partner, Richard Toon, who would ask her discussion questions about her pieces.

“It was a good setup, but I thought the chairs could be further spaced apart because of the new mask mandate,” Link Shuster ‘24 said. The event occurred two days after the College announced the return back to Yellow Phase masking. 

However, the event had a huge emphasis on vulnerability and being able to make someone feel through writing. “Hearing such an intimate side from her as an experienced artist was inspiring and comforting to hear, especially to upcoming writers in the audience,” Guinman said.

“I specifically remember there was a moment where she began to choke up about a part of her life,” Tom Hiller ‘23 said. “It was extremely accepting and vulnerable and I think that’s what writers should do—they should be able to express themselves.” 

“It was extremely accepting and vulnerable and I think that’s what writers should do—they should be able to express themselves.” 

“The writing is a performance,” Stone remarked at the event. It is one, according to her, that both entertains and demands the reader to feel. She used to be a theatre critic for The Nation, a writer for The Village Voice and a writer for the radio show “Fresh Air.” 

“There was so much hard-hitting stuff,” Milo Obrzut ‘25 said. From talking about her story of a young writer falling in love with a band member in London to her experience with sex, there was a very wide range of material that Stone shared. “Honestly, I thought that she was really cool,” Obrzut said. 

Stone has won multiple awards for her work, including the Nona Balakian prize from the National Book Critics Circle and several grants.

“I thought the event was really interesting, and I would love to hear more of her works.”  Shuster said.

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