New School Faculty Members Share Recent Work
Eugene Lang's Faculty Reading Series was started in 1998, and since that time it has been a successful, popular event here. Many of the pieces originally read at the series have been published. This semester's first installment of the series featured Henry Shapiro reading his short story “The M.O.s” and Wendy Walters reading three poems from her book *Longer I Wait, More You Love Me*, published last fall.
Henry Shapiro teaches literature, poetry, and music at Lang. He is also a concert pianist and has recently finished a new book of poetry. “I swore I would never write another story about the problems with American masculinity,” said Shapiro, before launching into his story about Eddy, an actor who is dealing with problems of this nature. In the story, Eddy struggles to stick to his M.O. (*modus operandi*) for a family dinner, while his drunk, down-on-his-luck cousin Ray berates him for not taking advantage of his opportunities.
After the story, Shapiro asked for comments and questions from the small but engaged audience. The subsequent discussion ranged from “writerly motivation” to themes and intentions, even featuring a brief disagreement about a scene a few members of the audience thought was homoerotic. Shapiro responded that men not being able to be physically close without it being considered homoerotic is one of the problems with American masculinity.
Wendy Walters, a literary studies assistant professor, ended the reading with three poems. The first, “Story of My Life,” was musical and repetitive and featured a talking horse. “I have an interest in repetition,” said Walters in an interview. “It comes from the West African tradition,” in which, each time something is repeated, it is changed instead of just emphasized. “Repetition helps locate your audience in the poem,” she added. The last two had less structure and were somewhat autobiographical—“All the bad parts,” said Walters.
*Longer I Wait, More You Love Me* was published last fall by Palm Press.