This blog was was written by Emily Yost, Senior Program Coordinator. Join us for the 2016 CHAPTERS Reading Series with keynote speakers, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Mia Alvar, Angela Flournoy, and Naomi Jackson.
The Girls Write Now March 18 CHAPTERS event was an electric evening of first experiences! This was our first CHAPTERS event at the General Society Library, the first reading series event of the spring season, the first time most of the performers would be reading in a CHAPTERS event, and my first time ever directing the event series. Our March 18 event was an incredible example of teamwork and the passion that the Girls Write Now community has for one another, and it made me feel even more proud to be a part of this organization.
Our performers arrived around 4 pm for a dress rehearsal in the library space. Remembering it now, it all feels like a blur of spotlights, microphone tests, nervous readings, and reminders to smile. Together with our staff and mentor volunteers, all of the set up for registration and merchandise came together with creativity and team work.
Tanwi Nandini Islam our keynote arrived to meet our emcees, Thasfia Chowdhury and Misbah Awan for her CHAPTERS interview. Tanwi’s debut novel, Bright Lines, is a colorful and mesmerizing story about coming of age in Brooklyn where the main characters rediscover their pasts in their motherland of Bangaldesh. Thasfia introduced Tanwi by saying; “Tanwi to me, is in many ways like her characters — bold and daring, but even more so she is fierce and fearless. I commend her for creating a literary piece that speaks volumes of rawness, and truth about interpersonal and internal relationships.” Tanwi also joined the performing mentees and mentors in the green room for our pre-CHAPTERS “pass the pulse” and hype chant. Together we held hands and squeezed each others palms to pass the energy of the reading series around.
One of the most amazing things about March CHAPTERS was that I had been told to expect about 70 guests, but then we filled our seats with 140 people! It was amazing and a thrill for the performers to be able to share their words with a full house. After an entire day of running up and down marble stairs, planning, setting and cleaning up and then being a part of CHAPTERS for the first time we as a staff took this picture with Tanwi. The best end to our first 2016 CHAPTERS.