The Cougar Chronicle

The Poet presents literary works to students

Lara Amin, Staff Writer

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On Feb. 15, CSUSM’s Literature & Writing department welcomed American poet Mathias Svalina for the first Community & World Literary Series (CWLS) event for spring 2018.

The event was held in Markstein Hall 125 and began at 7 p.m. The night ended with a meet and greet and a book signing from the author himself. Nationally acclaimed poet and dream writer, Svalina performed a live reading from several of his works such as: Thirty-One Richmond Dreams, Destruction Myths and his most recent, The Wine-Dark Sea.

His unconventional writing style can be found in his dream journals, which are full of imaginative and bizarre stories that toy with our senses. His poetry is lively because it is abstract and metaphysical inviting all for individual interpretation. Many students in the Literature & Writing community conversed inside and outside of the classroom about the significance and overall meaning behind Svalina’s mysterious work.

The book most discussed among the audience is Wine-Dark Sea, a lyrical journal filled with taut poetry, captivating word choices and a reoccuring theme of one’s will to stay alive through the act of writing.

When asked about the significance of the title, Svalina said, “I was in the backseat and my friends were driving… I was reading The Odyssey out loud. I was in a very personal collapse space, but I didn’t have the emotional structure or script to be able to tell my two best friends who were in the car ‘Hey my life is really f–ked and I’m going to die.’ At that time I was in the hospital so I started writing a journal and I wrote The Wine-Dark Sea.”

This powerful revelation about the author influences readers to persevere despite how difficult or painful life is. The audience, students and professors alike, in Markstein 125 were accepting and sentimental towards the author’s raw and vulnerable truth.

The night was filled with powerful poetry, outrageous dreams and humorous storytelling that captivated the audience’s attention.

The next Community & World Literary Series will be held on Apr. 5 with Chelsey Johnson in Markstein Hall 125 at 7 p.m.

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