The Northridge Review release party on Friday night was an intimate event attended by students, professors and writers. This semester’s English 412 class was successful in hosting the launch of the Fall 2009 issue, which contains pieces from Spring 2009.
Writers were allowed to read their pieces out loud to the audience; some even read pieces that were not in the magazine. Fiction stories, poems and a drama were recited during the two-hour event.
Mona Houghton, adviser of the Northridge Review, started the night by thanking the contributors, the English department staff for organizing the event, and the people who financially supported the event especially the Associated Students who “keep the budget going on a regular basis.” She also thanked the editors of the Fall 2009 issue, Melanie Grafil and Robert Kane, who handled the transition from having a class of nine students to 20.
“They were both infinitely wise and patient. I think they deserve a group hug, almost,” Houghton said.
Grafil and Kane presented three awards before the reading started; the Northridge Review fiction award, the Rachel Sherwood award and the Academy of American Poets award.
Each writer was given about five minutes to read their piece, or a portion of their piece. Once done, they were to introduce the next writer.
Guests were allowed to take a few minutes to stretch, grab a snack and refreshment, which was provided in the back of the JR 319 room. Some people who were not able to get the magazine beforehand also took the opportunity to get a copy, which was sold, outside the room for $5.
“This costs less than a pack of cigarettes,” writer Joseph Mattson said.
While the writers read their pieces, Kevin Cikatricis and Rebecca Brown, two staff members of the National Center on Deafness took turns in interpreting the pieces to the hearing impaired audiences.
Cikatricis said that although they did not have the opportunity to read the pieces ahead of time, he loved the experience and thought it was interesting.
Kwang Ho Kim of the Northridge Review is trying to connect the deaf studies program with the magazine, and the first step in accomplishing that is by getting the deaf studies program involved with the English program. Work from deaf students or deaf artists will be included in the Northridge Review by creating a CD, he said.
“We will choose their poetry and the writer will come out and do the hand gesture,” Kim said. “We started this semester and for the following issue, we will have the CD.”
Houghton had expected a good turn out from the release party and she said they got an “excellent” turn out. She said everybody who participated did well and having the interpreter there was great. She hopes to see more people from the hearing impaired community show up next semester.
Kim said that the Northridge Review is expanding and more people are coming every semester to the release party. He said they might hold the next party at the Noski Auditorium.
“It was very exciting to have so many people support the creative writing community. I am personally thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant community that can produce this magazine twice a year and have such a high quality material,” Houghton said.
The Fall 2009 issue of the Northridge Review is available at the Matador Bookstore and at a few bookstores around town.