This week, I had the honor of bringing Jen Cross to campus as part of the University Writing Program’s Conversations with Writers series. Jen is a writer and workshop leader who specializes in erotic writing, exploring its tranformative and healing effects. I encouraged my students to attend, promising them an amazing time. Luckily, Jen was able to keep my promise.
I was struck immediately by Jen’s energy. She is welcoming and warm and funny. All of this was on display during her talk.
She warned the audience that they would be writing a little bit–she is a writing workshop leader, after all. Thus, after about 35 minutes of talking, she had us freewrite for five minutes, with the prompt to describe “a first time.”
I was pleased with the product of my efforts, and thus found myself tempted to read when she asked for volunteers. Of course, I had many students in the room, and it struck me that they probably don’t want to think of me as capable of writing like that. On the other hand, them having to read in front of me would likely have been absolutely mortifying. Thus, I put myself out there.
My students do not seem to have been harmed. In fact, they have reported loving Jen’s talk. One student and I talked about how — for lack of a better word — awake we were when it was over. That student also said that Jen’s talk was the most fun she’d had for months.
For those wanting to see it, it’s streaming now on our page: http://writing.ucdavis.edu/speakerseries
I read at minute 40.
Let it wake you up.