Spartanburg Community College Foundation will host the 2021 Wonders of Writing Symposium on Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., featuring poets Tiana Nobile and Esteban Rodriguez. This program brings visionary authors to Spartanburg in order to share their art with a diverse audience and encourage critical reflection. SC Humanities supported this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.
In 2021, the WOW Symposium will include two poets with newly-published collections. Tiana Nobile is the author of Cleave (Hub City Press, 2021) and Esteban Rodriguez is the author of Dusk and Dust (Hub City Press, 2019). They were selected because of their unique voice and perspectives on culturally-relevant issues. Following the reading, there will be a Q&A, and books will be available for purchase. The public event is the culmination of a two-day series of programs for Spartanburg Community College students, faculty, and staff.
“We are excited to introduce our students, as well as the Spartanburg community, to the poets and their works. We hope that this event grows students’ and community members’ interest in poetry and encourages attendees to explore questions about literature as well as the process of writing,” explains Nettie Brooks, an instructor at SCC and the chair of this year’s WOW committee. “We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Nobile and Mr. Rodriguez to SCC and to Spartanburg.”
Tiana Nobile is a Korean American adoptee, Kundiman fellow, and recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Recently named one of The Gambit’s “40 Under 40,” her poetry debut, CLEAVE, was released by Hub City Press in 2021. She is a finalist of the National Poetry Series and Kundiman Poetry Prize, and her writing has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The New Republic, Guernica, and Southern Cultures, among others. She lives in Bulbancha, aka New Orleans, Louisiana. In Cleave, she explores her own adoption from South Korea and the broader, collective experience. She addresses Harry Harlow’s monkey experiments and includes elements from her own adoption documents in her writing. Her poems explore dislocation, familial relationships, and the science of love and attachment.
Esteban Rodriguez is the author of Dusk & Dust, (Dis)placement, and the micro-chapbook Soledad. His poetry has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. He is the Interviews Editor at the EcoTheo Review and is a regular reviews contributor at PANK Magazine and Heavy Feather Review. He lives with his family and teaches high school in Austin, Texas. His writing delves into how cultural traditions and expectations influence a person’s relationships and their interactions with the world. Dusk & Dust takes place along the United States-Mexico border and is narrated by a boy who struggles to find his identity in the area in which he lives. Filled with emotion and humor, the poems examine the lives of the narrator and those living around him.
The public reading and reception will take place at Spartanburg Community College’s Evans Downtown Campus in the Auditorium, 220 East Kennedy Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.