Erica Dawson Closes Fall 2014 MARS Season

Outside the window, a cold and inconstant rain pours over Hayden Hall. Dominika Wrozynski talks about a special ability some writers have that permits them to move easily from Chopin to Descartes back and forth, touching ideas from Freud during a breakup.

Wrozynski remarked on the sincerity and level of connection that these types of authors can achieve with their readers, in mode of introduction for that night’s speaker.

Photo by Daniel Molina
Photo by Daniel Molina

“She tells us something about what it means to be alive, and to live actively in a world that often presents drama all out,” Wrozynski said.

Erica Dawson, author of the books “Big-Eyed Afraid” (2007), and “The Small Blades Hurt” (2014), concluded the Major Author Reading Series (MARS) this past Tuesday in Hayden 100.

With realism in her poems, she presents a picture of what living in our society implies and how feelings such as frustration, excitation, delight or even anger are sometimes merged into our everyday lives, causing each moment to be unique and unrepeatable.

She read some of her “Love Poems After Learning…” which describe some reactions after realizing that banal actions are sometimes more complex than what they seem. “Love Poems After Learning that Hair is Dead Skin,” or “Love Poems After Learning What ‘Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi’ Translates” are part of the repertoire Dawson shared with students, professors and some faculty members of Manhattan College.

Dark and sad poems such as “In Black and White,” juxtapos themes of love and death, creating an almost hilarious context about a woman’s delusions after a breakup.

Photo by Daniel Molina
Photo by Daniel Molina

After more than 30 minutes of reciting poems and telling the stories behind them, she took a space for responding to some questions the audience had.

“I’m aware of my level of craziness and I’m conscious about it, but I don’t care,” she responded to a student that asked if she was afraid of writing and having no answer from any reader. “As a writer I feel that’s is okay to be me on paper, so I don’t try to hide any of that at all.”

She gave some tips to future authors, pointing out that her major advice was to read a lot and write a lot without taking into consideration literary guidelines.

At the end of the session she took some time to speak one-on-one with students that had extra questions and also signed copies of her book.

The Fall 2014 MARS season successfully closed with Dawson’s participation. She proved once again that with dedication and hard work anyone can become a writer, no matter what age, gender or social background he or she comes from.