Goucher’s English department has its share of undergraduate disciples; as evidenced in open mics, the “Preface” literary magazine, and The Quindecim. On March 1, Goucher readers and writers had the privilege of hearing some wise words from novelist and nonfiction author and Kratz Center Professor, Beverly Lowry.
The Batza room already has its share of couches, but this event called for as many more chairs as could fit. At 8 pm, students (some out of class), teachers (some also out of class) and visiting fans took seats. Whether they came to hear Lowry, English Professor Michelle Tokarczyk; or to stock up on free refreshments, everyone was silent when the white-haired Mississipian took a seat in the front of the room and started to speak. Some nodded intently, while others wrote down her creative advise.
Lowry has six books to her name, and was glad to discuss the creative process each one called for. “Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction,” she said, “I need to work slowly and mount up all the info i can. But before anything else, I need to write myself a timeline to know what happens where, what happens to who… It’s a very involved process.” Reality seems to be a running theme in Lowry’s work: Her current project (which she previewed at the event) chronicles a girl’s rape and murder in a frozen yogurt shop; and her past includes a Harriet Tubman biography and a fictional account of life in Mississippi.
Goucher has to work hard to arrange events like these, but Lowry, having taught here, made the process easier than usual: In Spring 2012, the Kratz Center asked her to team with Tokarczyk for a creative nonfiction presentation. “We were so pleased to welcome Beverly Lowry here once again,” Goucher English professor and Kratz Center Director Johnny Turtle said. Many lingered after the event ended to speak to Lowry one-on-one. “It’s great to see Kratz professors discuss their craft,” says Senior Elise Burke, “but I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say Lowry is a huge part of why nonfiction is a respected genre today.”