By Joseph Navarro
Sure, there were gluten- free snacks. Let them eat cake. People spoke of getting tattoos of semicolons. Let them eat cake. There was even an event flyer with a picture of a Nazi German V2rocket, falling on London. Let them eat cake. And to be honest, the amount of emails sent by Jennifer Kay Dorsey and Ariella Ruth , probably annoyed the NSA. Let them eat cake. Sarah Richards-Graba’s Ikebana exhibit almost stole the show. Let them eat cake. Christopher Kepple’s interior design prowess, created an atmosphere conducent to all Post-Modern-Avante-Hybrid-Experimental-Van-Poetics-Beat oriented readings. Let them eat cake. The Naropa Writing Center hosted a reading titled Across the Threshold, which opened with some of Naropa’s finest BA writers. Let them eat cake. Jade Cruz Quinn and Tyler Lyman touched on cats and creeks while taking the audience on a semiotic voyage of imagery and emotion. Let them eat cake. Their work set the pace for a night of aesthetic solidarity. Let them eat cake. H.J. VandeRiet, Brent Zionic, and Chris Kepple followed. Let them eat cake. The trio represented the eclectic nature, endemic to current first-year cohort’s literary repertoire. Let them eat cake. Humor was a large part of the evening, which accentuated an eager audience. Let them eat cake. The closing act featured Naropa’s upcoming graduates, from the Religious Studies and Creative Writing programs respectively. Let them eat cake. Austin Pick, Elizabth Knauz, Jenifer Kay Dorsey, Matt Clifford and Sarah Richards-Graba rounded out the night with a mixture of grace and poetics, a true representation of the Beat legacy so dear to this institution. Let them eat cake. The five brought an emotional candor to the evening which made one reminisce of City Lights Bookstore in the 60’s. Let them eat cake. The 2014 NWC reading featured a packed house, a lineup of committed artists, and a finale of cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. And they ate cake; Ashley Margaret Waterman and Janelle Fine put on a performance which will echo through these hallowed halls, for years to come. Let them eat cake. The coup de grace of an evening dedicated to all that is writing. Let them eat cake. The sacrifices we make for our work, is what defines us as artists. Let them eat cake. We will continue to write and spread all that is art. Let them eat cake. As for everyone else, LET THEM EAT CAKE!
Joseph Navarro is an MFA candidate at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.