Willimantic, CT- Eastern Connecticut State University welcomed well-known poet Christine Gelineau to campus on Oct. 20. Most of Gelineau’s poetry focuses on her experiences living on a horse-breeding farm. She was invited by the Eastern Writers Guild, an on-campus club led by faculty advisor Daniel Donaghy. The Writers Guild is responsible for publishing Eastern’s annual campus literary magazine “Eastern Exposure,” as well as funding visiting poets.
The reading opened up with Writers Guild President Christopher Morris introducing Gelineau and her work. “We are very excited to have Christine here today,” said Morris. “Her work is inspiring as she pays attention to detail and writes with an extremely soothing voice.”
Gelineau read work from two of her three books, “Crave” and “Remorseless love.” While she read, she contextualized with background information, telling the audience personal stories of her life experiences. “I am an easily distracted person,” joked Gelineau. “I have to write down what I want to say to you guys so I don’t forget and I stay on track.”
Gelineau hosted a writing workshop for all students to attend before her reading, which gave students a chance to bring in personal writing as well as engage in a writing exercise based on an assigned prompt. “The workshop was eye opening,” said Writers Guild Vice President Amanda DeMaio. “We were able to write and critique our own writing with a published author which was really cool.”
“Christine is a very accomplished writer and teacher who is friendly and incredibly generous with her time and advice,” said Donaghy. “I believe her visit was an extremely valuable experience for our creative writing students. She gave a fine reading as well as ran a terrific generative writing workshop during the day.”
After reading 10-15 poems, Gelineau concluded the reading with a question and answer segment. “What is more magical than the fact that you can write things down on a page and communicate with others,” said Gelineau. “Poems are a way to connect with others on a deeper level where you feel like you’re really alive.